NTSB Identification: MIA92FA099.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46380.
Accident occurred Monday, March 16, 1992 in ABERDEEN, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N16388
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.

AT APPROXIMATELY 100-FOOT ALTITUDE, AFTER TAKEOFF, WITNESSES HEARD ENGINE SPUTTER AND LOSE POWER. AIRCRAFT WAS THEN OBSERVED TO BANK STEEPLY TO THE LEFT AND DESCEND INTO TREES. A POSTCRASH FIRE ERUPTED. THE NO. 3 CONNECTING ROD HAD FAILED DUE TO FATIGUE. THE FATIGUE ORIGINATED IN GALLING MARKS IN THE BEARING AREA ON THE CRANKSHAFT END. ACCORDING TO LYCOMING ENGINES, GALLING IS CAUSED BY ENGINE OVERSPEED OR OVERBOOST. NO RECORDS OF THESE EVENTS HAVING OCCURRED WERE FOUND. AFTER NO. 3 ROD SEPARATED, IT JAMMED INTO THE ENGINE CASE AND DID NOT HINDER ROTATION OF THE ENGINE. THE PROPELLER WAS FOUND TO HAVE ROTATIONAL DAMAGE, AND BLADE ANGLE AT IMPACT WAS IN THE 2100 RPM RANGE. SEVERAL LARGE TREE LIMBS WERE FOUND CUT BY THE PROPELLER AT THE CRASH SITE.

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

THE PILOT-IN-COMMAND'S DECISION TO INITIATE A TURN BACK TO THE AIRPORT AT A LOW ALTITUDE FOLLOWING LOSS OF ENGINE POWER.

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