NTSB Identification: FTW99FA261.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 18, 1999 in BRYAN, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 182A, registration: N4803D
Injuries: 5 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.

Witnesses reported that the single-engine airplane's takeoff and climb appeared to be normal. As the airplane climbed through 400 feet, a puff of black smoke was observed emanating from the right side of the engine compartment. The airplane nosed up slightly, then nosed down turning about 360 degrees before descending rapidly from view. One witness heard the engine start missing before the airplane turned and descended. Continuity was established to all flight controls. Examination of the engine revealed that the #6 cylinder head separated from its cylinder barrel as a result of fatigue cracking originating in the cylinder head threads. When the engine was overhauled about 353.86 hours prior to the accident, 6 Nu-chromed overhauled cylinders were installed. It could not be determined how many hours the cylinders had accumulated nor how many times they had been overhauled. There is no requirement to track cylinder hours or overhaul occurrences.

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

the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control resulting in an inadvertent stall. A factor was the loss of engine power as a result of fatigue cracking and separation of the #6 cylinder head.

Full narrative available

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