NTSB Identification: LAX97LA280.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 10, 1997 in LAS VEGAS, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: North American NAVION B, registration: N512AK
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 pilot completed a run-up with no malfunctions noted, and was cleared for a left downwind departure. As he was departing from the downwind he felt a vibration on the yoke and was returning to land. About 10 seconds later the vibration on the yoke became violent. An explosion occurred and the cabin reportedly filled with smoke. A second explosion followed and the cowling departed the right side of the aircraft and struck the windshield. The pilot made a landing in a residential area, striking a tree and a vehicle during the landing sequence. Examination of the engine revealed that the No. 3 cylinder had separated from the engine, and the hold down nuts to the No's. 1 and 5 cylinders were hand tight. Review of the maintenance records disclosed no evidence of cylinder removals since the last overhaul in 1982, which was 55 hours prior to the accident.

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

The separation of the number 3 cylinder due to improper overhaul procedures, and the failure to adequately torque the cylinder hold down nuts and through bolts to specification.

Full narrative available

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