NTSB Identification: NYC00LA008.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 08, 1999 in BERLIN, MD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N56094
Injuries: 2 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.

On the third flight of the day, the engine started without difficulty and no anomalies observed. The pilot taxied onto the runway, advanced the throttle, and executed a normal takeoff. The airplane climbed to a cruise altitude of approximately 2,000 feet msl. After reaching 2,000 feet, the engine started running rough, and the airplane started to descend. The pilot attempted a forced landing to a road, but struck wires while maneuvering to avoid a construction vehicle. The number 3-cylinder exhaust valve stem was found fractured into two pieces, and evidence of a fatigue crack on the fracture surface was identified. The engine was remanufacture to zero time on October 10, 1979, and then installed on January 10, 1981. At the time of the accident, the engine had approximately 1,325 hours of operation and 20 years since overhaul. A service instruction published by the engine manufacture recommends that the engine be overhauled every 2,000 hours or 12 years which ever comes first.

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

The failure of the number 3-cylinder exhaust valve stem due to fatigue cracking.

Full narrative available

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