NTSB Identification: FTW00LA058.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 03, 2000 in HOUSTON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2001
Aircraft: Cessna A185F, registration: N999SW
Injuries: 4 Uninjured.

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 airplane was climbing through 3,500 feet after departure when the pilot heard a sequence of loud bangs. The pilot stated that the airplane started to vibrate, therefore, he elected to pull the throttle to idle and returned to the departure airport. The pilot stated that he could not make it to the active runway and elected to land on a grass strip located on the airport. The pilot attempted to slow the airplane before impacting a ditch. The airplane nosed over at 40 knots, coming to rest inverted. Examination of the engine revealed that the #4 cylinder head separated from its cylinder barrel as a result of fatigue cracking originating in the cylinder head threads. The engine was overhauled 111.5 hours prior to the accident, at which time, 6 channel chromed overhauled cylinders were installed. It could not be determined how many hours the cylinders had accumulated or 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 loss of engine power during climb as a result of fatigue cracking of the #4 cylinder head and its subsequent separation from its barrel.

Full narrative available

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