NTSB Identification: MIA97LA023.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 09, 1996 in BRUNSWICK, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A, registration: N86DR
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

About 30 minutes into the flight, the pilot felt a 'momentary shudder' from the engine. He checked the gauges and said all the instruments were in the 'green.' When he rechecked the instruments a short time later he noticed that the oil pressure 'had gone to zero.' The pilot advised ATC that his engine had lost power and he was going to attempt to land at an airport. The pilot could not make the airport, and elected to land in a salt marsh north of the airport. The engine teardown reveled that the No. 5 piston had a hole in the piston skirt, resulting in the oil being pushed overboard, oil starvation, and the subsequent complete loss of engine power.

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

a complete loss of engine power as a result of piston failure, oil starvation, and the subsequent forced landing in unsuitable terrain.

Full narrative available

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