NTSB Identification: MIA91LA138.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44915.
Accident occurred Thursday, May 09, 1991 in CLEARWATER, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/25/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-300, registration: N55653
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 PLT STATED THE ENG WAS SLUGGISH DURING THE TAKEOFF FOR THE THIRD TOUCH AND GO LANDING, FOLLOWED BY A TOTAL LOSS OF OIL PRESSURE. WITH INSUFFICIENT RWY REMAINING TO LAND HE CONTINUED TO CLIMB & ADVISED THE TOWER OF THE ENG MALFUNCTION. HE WAS CLEARED TO LAND ON ANY RWY BUT THE ENG THEN QUIT. HE INITIATED A LT TURN TO RETURN TO THE ARPT. WHILE DESCENDING HE ATTEMPTED TO CORRECT THE NOSE & LT WING LOW ATTITUDE BEFORE IMPACT WITH THE WATER BUT STATED THAT THE FLT CONTROLS WERE UNRESPONSIVE. THE ACFT WAS RECOVERED & THE ENG REMOVED FOR EXAM. EXAM OF THE ENG REVEALED A HOLE IN THE TOP OF THE CRANKCASE NEAR THE NO. 4 CYLINDER. THE NO. 4 CYLINDER CONNECTING ROD WAS NOT ATTACHED TO THE CRANKSHAFT. THE FIRE SLEEVES PROTECTING THE THREE OIL LINES ATTACHED TO THE LT & RT OIL COOLERS WERE OIL SOAKED. DURING REMOVAL OF THE FIRE SLEEVES, ONE LINE BROKE DUE TO DETERIORATION. THE TWO OTHER LINES WERE EXAMINED & FOUND TO BE DETERIORATED. THE DATA TAGS ATTACHED TO EACH LINE INDICATED THAT THEY WERE MANUFACTURED IN APRIL 1972.

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

INADEQUATE ANNUAL INSPECTION OF THE AIRPLANE BY MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL WHO FAILED TO DETECT A DETERIORATED OIL LINE. THIS RESULTED IN OIL EXHAUSTION CAUSING THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO FAILURE OF ONE OF THE CONNECTING RODS. ALSO INADVERTENT STALL/MUSH BY THE PILOT.

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