NTSB Identification: ANC00IA063.
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Scheduled 14 CFR
Incident occurred Thursday, June 01, 2000 in TANANA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/10/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-31-350, registration: N3536B
Injuries: 5 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various sources and may have traveled in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft incident report.

A passenger aboard a twin-engine, scheduled commuter airplane reported to the pilot that there was black smoke, fire, and oil coming from the left engine. The pilot shut down the left engine, made a 180-degree turn to return the departure airport, and alerted emergency fire crews to standby for his return. On arrival, fire department personnel extinguished the fire. The airplane was equipped with two TEXTRON Lycoming TIO-540-J2BD engines. A postincident inspection revealed the oil filter adapter plate gasket material displayed obvious signs of degradation and deformation. A subsequent investigation revealed that the manufacturer that supplied TEXTRON Lycoming with the oil filter adapter plate gaskets, recently changed material suppliers. The new gasket material did not meet the existing specifications, and deteriorated when in contact with hot engine oil. A subsequent oil leak sprayed engine oil within the engine cowling, near the rear of the engine, adjacent to the engine turbocharger.

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

An in-flight oil leak due to the deterioration of oil filter adapter plate gasket material, and the supplier's distribution of inadequate material. A factor associated with the accident was the engine manufacturer's inadequate quality control.

Full narrative available

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