NTSB Identification: FTW97LA156.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 07, 1997 in OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Rockwell 114, registration: N4861W
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.

The engine lost power and an in flight fire sent smoke into the cabin during initial takeoff climb on a local maintenance flight of a prototype exhaust system. During the forced landing, short of the runway, the airplane touched down in soft soil, crossed a gravel driveway and struck an embankment and a fence before coming to a stop. Subsequently the airplane was consumed by the fire. The airframe was inspected by the FAA inspector and he found an unapproved modification, designed by the pilot, for the cowling and the exhaust system. The exhaust system components were wrapped in a heat protective tape approximately 2 inches wide. After removing the exhaust from the engine and removing the tape, it was found that the right hand exhaust pipe collector was cracked in several areas. The pilot reported that he was working on a STC for drag reduction and the experimental exhaust manifold cracked at the weld after 7 hours of test flights.

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

The exhaust manifold cracking due to the pilot's inadequate maintenance modification of the exhaust system which resulted in a fire. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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