NTSB Identification: MIA97LA032.
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Accident occurred Sunday, December 01, 1996 in SUGARLOAF KEY, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N9545J
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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

While in cruise flight the engine lost power, and the pilot elected to land on a road. As the airplane touched down the left wing struck the brush on the side of the road, veered left, and turned 180 degrees opposite the direction of travel. Witnesses reported seeing black smoke coming from the engine before impact. The airplane's engine was disassembled, and the examination revealed that the No. 3 connecting rod cap had become detached from the crankshaft assembly, resulting in external damage to the engine. In addition, the remaining connecting rod assemblies were found to be incorrectly installed, and the nuts were all found opposite end down. The No. 2 and No. 4 assemblies were found to be loose.

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

a complete loss of engine power due to a disconnected connecting rod cap.

Full narrative available

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