NTSB Identification: MIA97LA163.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 14, 1997 in YAKKAMA CITY, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-180, registration: N7931P
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 flight was about 25 miles east of the destination airport when the pilot reported that he 'heard maybe 2 seconds of ticking then complete engine failure. He spent about 10 to 15 seconds trying to stop the engine because he thought the engine would 'tear itself off the aircraft.' The pilot chose to make a forced landing in a field. One wing separated from the airplane when it collided with a tree on the approach, and the airplane traveled about 150 feet before it came to a stop. An engine teardown was performed under the supervision of the FAA, and revealed that all 4 connecting rod caps had come apart from their rods. The rod bolt nuts were found lying on the bottom of the oil pan. The investigation revealed that a mechanic had installed two (2) modified rod caps without the connecting rod assemblies, and without inspecting or servicing prior to installation on the engine. .

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

a complete loss of engine power due to the separation of the connecting rod bolts, resulting in a forced landing and impact with a tree. A factor in this accident was improper installation of the rod bolts by a mechanic.

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