NTSB Identification: NYC97LA024.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 02, 1996 in MYERSTOWN, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-350P, registration: N394PM
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 the climb after takeoff, between 3,500 and 4,000 feet, the pilot noticed the engine oil pressure decreasing and the oil temperature increasing. The pilot advised the controller that he was experiencing a problem, and he was provided radar vectors to the nearest airport. During vectors, the engine failed, and oil covered the windshield and pilot's side window. Unable to see the airport, the pilot completed a forced landing to an open field, where the airplane impacted the ground. The engine had accumulated about 440 hrs of flight time, since it was last overhauled (by the manufacturer). Investigation revealed that remanufactured connecting rods had been installed. Examination of the engine revealed four of the six connecting rod bearings had melted at the crankshaft, and fatigue cracks were found on the number four connecting rod and end cap. When the connecting rod end cap retaining nuts were removed, rings of moderate wear and fretting were found in the nut recesses where the nuts contacted the rods.

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

fatigue failure of the connecting rod to crankshaft attachments, due to inadequate overhaul of the engine by the manufacturer, which resulted in a loss of engine power and a forced landing. Factors relating to the accident included the discharge of oil from the ruptured engine, which subsequently obstructed the pilot's view through the windshield and side window, preventing him from having an unobstructed view of the emergency landing area.

Full narrative available

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