NTSB Identification: FTW98LA053.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 19, 1997 in TOMBALL, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N88WC
Injuries: 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 airplane was at 2,000 feet MSL on an IFR radar vector for the approach when the engine rpm surged, the oil pressure decreased, the electronic engine monitor indicated an over temperature condition on the #4 cylinder, and the engine started running rough and vibrating. The pilot shut down the engine, and declared an emergency, as the airplane descended into VFR conditions at 500 feet MSL. A forced landing was executed to a road with transmission lines and trees. During the landing flare and touchdown, the left wing of the airplane struck trees. This was the first flight following the annual inspection. The lower area of the fuselage was covered with oil and examination revealed that a 'line and B-nut at the turbocharger wastegate were loose.' The #4 cylinder was seized and the #4 rod bearing journal was damaged. On Nov. 8, 1996, the turbocharger had been overhauled and reinstalled. During the last annual inspection on Nov. 19, 1997, the mechanic had welded a patch on the turbocharger outlet elbow. An engine teardown revealed physical evidence of oil starvation.

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

The total loss of engine power resulting from the loss of oil and resultant seizure of a cylinder due to inadequate maintenance by maintenance personnel. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing and the low ceiling.

Full narrative available

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