NTSB Identification: SEA00LA119.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 30, 2000 in KENNEWICK, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N6887W
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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

About 30 minutes after takeoff, while cruising at 6,500 feet, the engine began to lose RPM and subsequently stopped. The pilot was able to restart the engine, but oil then started coming from under the cowling. The pilot shut the engine down and performed a forced landing on a road. As the windshield was covered with oil, the pilot's forward visibility was impaired during the forced landing. During the landing roll, the aircraft's left wing struck a road sign that the pilot could not see, causing the aircraft to leave the road. The aircraft came to rest in a ditch beside the road. A post-accident examination of the aircraft's engine revealed damage to the number 1 piston, with the wrist pin brass plug missing. A hole in the top of the engine crankcase was also observed at this location, which the examination report stated was 'probably caused by [the] brass plug being pushed out by [the] crank shaft lobe.' The engine, a Lycoming O-320-E2A, had 1,649 hours since overhaul at the time of the accident and had received an annual signoff 8 months and 27 flight hours before the accident.

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

A failure in the engine's number 1 piston, resulting in a total loss of engine power. Factors included the aircraft windshield being covered with oil (restricting forward visibility), a road sign, and a ditch beside the road on which the forced landing was performed.

Full narrative available

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