NTSB Identification: ATL90LA151.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41147.
Accident occurred Sunday, July 29, 1990 in MIDWAY, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/10/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172B, registration: N8091X
Injuries: 1 Minor,3 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 PILOT WAS 20 MINUTES INTO THE FLIGHT WHEN HE NOTED THAT THE ENGINE WAS MAKING A BINDING NOISE AND SEEMED TO BE IN A SLIGHT STRAIN. WHILE RETURNING TO THE AIRPORT, THE ENGINE BEGAN TO LOSE POWER AND THE PILOT COULD NO LONGER MAINTAIN ALTITUDE. THE AIRPLANE WAS FORCE LANDED IN A CORNFIELD AND WAS SUBSTANTIALLY DAMAGED WHEN IT CONTACTED A DITCH AND NOSED OVER. EXAMINATION OF THE ENGINE REVEALED THAT THE NUMBER FOUR CYLINDER EXHAUST VALVE HAD FAILED, ENTERING THE CYLINDER. THE LOOSE VALVE DAMAGED AND SEIZED THE PISTON, BREAKING THE CONNECTING ROD. THE VALVES WERE LAST REPLACED DURING A MAJOR OVERHAUL IN 1971. ABOUT 681 HOURS HAD BEEN LOGGED SINCE THE OVERHAUL.

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

TOTAL FAILURE OF THE NUMBER FOUR EXHAUST VALVE, RESULTING IN ENGINE POWER LOSS AND THE SUBSEQUENT FORCED LANDING OF THE AIRPLANE.

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