NTSB Identification: LAX97LA134.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 27, 1997 in OROVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/14/1997
Aircraft: Bellanca 14-13, registration: N86851
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.

While cruising at 3,500 feet mean sea level, the engine suddenly began knocking and vibrating. Moments later, all engine power was lost. The pilot initiated a forced landing on a nearby road, but during the approach collided with a tree. An inspection of the engine revealed several holes in the upper portion of the case in the vicinity of the number 6 cylinder. Further examination revealed that both of the number 6 connecting rod bolts were broken and the rod cap was crushed and fragmented. The owner reported that the rod bolts had been in service for about 1,185 hours. The engine's total time was about 2,350 hours.

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

a loss of engine power due to connecting rod bolt failure. The reason for the bolt failure was not determined. A contributing factor was the presence of trees in the emergency landing path.

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