NTSB Identification: FTW97LA141.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 26, 1997 in N LITTLE ROCK, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-17, registration: N4802H
Injuries: 1 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.

After takeoff, at about 1500 feet MSL, the engine 'developed roughness and knocking noises.' The engine quit developing power while the airplane was over a residential area. During a forced landing to an 'unfinished' road, the airplane's right wing impacted a small pine tree, which spun the airplane around. The left wing struck another tree before the airplane came to a stop. Both wings were damaged, and the lower rear longeron in the fuselage was bent. Examination of the engine by an FAA inspector revealed that the engine crankshaft had fractured 'between the throws for the #1 and #2 rods.' The camshaft was also 'broken in half by the #1 throw.' Time since the last engine overhaul was 108.7 hours.

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

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

Full narrative available

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