NTSB Identification: MIA99LA234.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 23, 1999 in ROBBINS, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2000
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A, registration: N42VB
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During cruise flight about 49 minutes after takeoff, the pilot declared a mayday and reported that the engine quit. Unable to land at the closest airport, he maneuvered the airplane for a forced landing to a field and collided with trees while descending. The Nos. 1, 2, and 4 connecting rods were broken; heat distress was noted at cylinder Nos. 1, 2, and 4 connecting rod journals. Fretting was noted at the upper support boss for the No. 2 main bearing. Damage to the bearing saddle area on both crankcase halves for the No. 2 main bearing was noted. Brown discoloration was noted at the No. 2 main bearing journal. The engine was overhauled December 1985, installed April 1986, and January 1994, the Nos. 3, and 6 cylinders were replaced and the top of the crankcase was sealed. The engine accumulated approximately 995 hours since overhaul and 328 hours since installation of the replacement cylinders. The thru bolt located adjacent to the fretted support boss of the No. 2 main bearing is used to secure the Nos. 2, and 3 cylinders. The engine oil was changed last approximately 65 hours earlier; the engine manufacturer recommends oil change each 25 hours.

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

The total loss of engine power due to failure of maintenance personnel to assure that the thru bolt nut at the Nos. 2 and 3 cylinders was adequately torqued following removal and replacement of the No. 3 cylinder approximately 328 hours earlier. Also, the unsuitable terrain encountered by the pilot during the forced landing. A factor in the accident was the operation of the airplane by the owner exceeding the recommended oil change intervals.

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