NTSB Identification: ANC98LA033.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 30, 1998 in VALDEZ, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/11/2000
Aircraft: Piper J5-C, registration: N4769C
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, who also held a mechanic certificates, had overhauled the airplane engine. The accident flight was the first flight since the overhaul. About 5 minutes after departure, the engine lost power. The pilot restarted the engine, but it only ran another 45 seconds before stopping again. The pilot selected an emergency landing area on a highway, but had to slip the airplane to avoid several vehicles on the highway. The airplane collided with a power line about 25 feet above the ground, and then descended to the ground. Disassembly of the engine revealed all the engine cylinders were scored. The pilot had installed chrome cylinders, and during the assembly, he applied a coating of light grease to each engine cylinder bore. According to an FAA inspector, the engine cylinders required an application of a thicker grease than what was used by the pilot.

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

The owner/pilot mechanic's improper overhaul of the engine, and lack of proper lubricating cylinder grease. A factor in the accident was the lack of a suitable area for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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