NTSB Identification: MIA98LA082.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 20, 1998 in GRANITEVILLE, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/31/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N3965K
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 pilot took off on a flight to return the aircraft to his home field after having had maintenance performed on the fuel system. During the initial climb after takeoff, a loss of engine power occurred. Emergency procedure for loss of power was accomplished with negative results, and a turn to the nearest field was begun. During the forced landing, the aircraft overflew the pilot's intended point of touchdown and collided with an earthen embankment and a barbed-wire fence. Subsequent teardown examination of the engine by FAA personnel revealed a broken exhaust valve in the number three cylinder. According to an FAA report, about 30 percent of the valve face was missing. The previous annual inspection was completed on 6/6/97; flight time since overhaul of the engine was reported as 1920.1 hours.

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

failure of the number three exhaust valve, which resulted in loss of engine power and a forced landing. Related factors were: the obstructions (earthen embankment and fence) in the emergency (forced) landing area.

Full narrative available

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