NTSB Identification: NYC98FA179.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 04, 1998 in MARIETTA, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/27/1999
Aircraft: Smith, Ted Aerostar TS-600, registration: N600JB
Injuries: 1 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 airplane departed at night after maintenance was performed on the left engine. The pilot attempted to return to the airport and while on base leg struck the ground inverted and nose down. The left engine propeller was found feathered. On the left engine, the # 5 cylinder was off the engine and the # 5 piston with the connecting rod still attached were found nearby. Interviews revealed that during maintenance, the # 1,3,5,and 6 cylinders had been removed and reinstalled; however, the # 5 cylinder had not been tightened. Several people had worked on the airplane at various stages of the work. The maintenance facility did not have a system to pass down what had been accomplished, and the FAA did not require the tracking of work accomplished in other than 14 CFR Part 121, or 14 CFR Part 145 facilities.

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

The failure of the pilot to maintain airspeed during a precautionary landing which resulted in a loss of control while operating with one engine shutdown. An additional cause was the improper maintenance procedures that resulted in the #5 cylinder not being tightened down. A factor was the night conditions.

Full narrative available

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