NTSB Identification: FTW97LA035.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 03, 1996 in TYLER, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/01/1997
Aircraft: Stinson 108-3, registration: N798C
Injuries: 2 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.

According to the pilot, he observed the 'tachometer RPM changing drastically' while the airplane was on a 2 to 2.5 mile extended downwind leg for landing on runway 13. The pilot reported the anomaly to the tower, advising that he needed to land. The tower controller immediately issued the pilot a clearance to execute a left turn and proceed for a straight-in approach to runway 17. The pilot further stated that about 30 seconds after turning for runway 17, the engine started 'to make a loud popping and backfiring noise,' followed by total loss of power. The pilot notified the controller of his predicament and advised that he would not be able to reach the runway. The pilot elected to land the airplane on a nearby field to the right of his course, approximately 1.5 miles north of the threshold for runway 17. During the landing roll, the main gear hit a drainage ditch along the side of a road that crossed the field, and the airplane nosed over. Examination and teardown of the engine revealed that the crankshaft had failed in a heavy cast area (web) between the #1 and #2 rod journals.

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

a loss of engine power due to failure of the crankshaft. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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