NTSB Identification: CHI98FA028.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 30, 1997 in NEW BERLIN, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Beech BE 58, registration: N472TL
Injuries: 6 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The twin-engine airplane began its instrument flight loaded about 800 pounds beyond its certificated maximum gross take off weight. Shortly after reaching its assigned altitude of 7,000 feet above mean sea level, the pilot advised the FAA controller, '...we have an engine problem.' The problem was not identified during a subsequent radio transmission. Shortly after the pilot's last radio transmission, witnesses on the ground observed the airplane in a counterclockwise flat spin. The on-scene examination revealed the left engine had suffered a mechanical failure. Continuity of the flight, engine, fuel and propeller controls was established. An oil film was found on the left engine's nacelle, inboard half of the wing, left side of the fuselage and the horizontal stabilizer and elevator. The left engine case had fractured near the number 2 cylinder. Examination of the case fracture surfaces revealed fatigue failure at its initiation point. The fatigue extended about 7 inches from its origin. Additionally, the number 2 cylinder connecting rod had separated from the crankshaft journal. Maintenance records showed the engine had a crankcase crack that was not covered by an FAA Airworthiness Directive or engine manufacturer specifications. The maintenance personnel informed the pilot about the crack. Examination of the airplane's hangar floor revealed a pool of fresh oil beneath the area where the left engine would have been positioned. Oil-based tire imprints made by the left main landing gear tire were found on the hangar floor that lead from the oil pool to the ramp outside the hangar. The pilot's logbook records showed he had received 4 hours of multi-engine flight instruction during one flight session on one day. The next day the logbook showed the pilot had received 10-hours of multi-engine instruction during 2 flight sessions. He obtained his multi-engine rating on the third day. Before these instructional entries were made there were 6 other flight instruction entries showing, 'X Country IFR.'

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

A loss of engine power due to separation of the left engine's number 2 connecting rod as a result of fatigue failure. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed which resulted in a stall/spin. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's operation of the aircraft with known deficiencies and exceeding the maximum gross weight of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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