NTSB Identification: LAX97LA002.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 03, 1996 in PLYMOUTH, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N5705U
Injuries: 3 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During flight, the pilot noted a severe engine vibration. He also noted a drop in engine rpm, EGT, and engine oil pressure, along with a loss of power. The engine rpm and oil pressure continued to drop, and the pilot was unable to maintain altitude. Also, the pilot noted smoke in the cockpit, which prompted him to make a forced landing. During the landing, the right wing struck a fence post. An inspection revealed that the #3 cylinder had ingested portions of the #3 exhaust valve. The exhaust valve fracture surfaces were peened.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

failure of the #3 exhaust valve, which resulted in loss of engine power, a forced landing, and subsequent collision with a fence post.

Full narrative available

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