NTSB Identification: NYC99LA219.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 03, 1999 in ANDOVER, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/13/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-135, registration: N8143E
Injuries: 2 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.

After takeoff, about 400 feet above the ground, the engine made 'a metallic noise.' The CFI initiated a turn back to the runway, and the engine powered down and stopped, with the propeller in a horizontal position. The main wheels of the airplane struck the bank of a pond approximately 100 feet short of the runway, the airplane nosed over, and the pilot and passenger exited the aircraft. Examination of the crankshaft revealed that the crankshaft was separated through the aft cheek of the #3 main bearing. Magnified visual examination of the fracture face found characteristics of fatigue propagation, which initiated in the aft radius of the #3 main bearing and progressed rearward through approximately 80% of the crankshaft cheek before failing in overload. Examination of the initiation area revealed a single origin on the surface of the radius in an area of circumferential scratches. The origin was located on the journal about 10 to 15 degrees before top center of the adjacent #2 and #3 cylinders.

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

Fatigue failure of the crankshaft.

Full narrative available

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