NTSB Identification: ATL91LA019.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44523.
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 20, 1990 in WINSTON-SALEM, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/12/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N8774N
Injuries: 2 Minor.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
SEVERAL MINUTES AFTER TAKEOFF, THE PILOT NOTICED A ZERO OIL PRESSURE INDICATION. AFTER TURNING BACK TO THE AIRPORT, THE ENGINE RPM BEGAN TO DECAY, THEN THE ENGINE QUIT. THE PILOT DITCHED THE AIRPLANE IN A LAKE ABOUT THREE MILES FROM THE AIRPORT. TEARDOWN ANALYSIS OF THE ENGINE REVEALED A FAILED #1 CYLINDER PISTON PIN PLUG. THE INTAKE LOBES ON THE CAMSHAFT WERE SEVERLY WORN, AND THE INTAKE TAPPET BODIES WERE SEVERELY SPALLED. THREE CONNECTING RODS WERE ALSO FOUND TO HAVE FAILED. THE OIL PRESSURE SCREEN WAS CONTAMINATED WITH FERROUS AND NON-FERROUS PARTICLES. THE PILOT REPORTED A LOSS OF OIL PRESSURE ON ANOTHER FLIGHT A FEW DAYS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: FAILURE OF A PISTON PIN PLUG WHICH RESULTED IN A TOTAL LOSS OF POWER. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE AN INADEQUATE ENGINE OVERHAUL WHICH LED TO PREMATURE ENGINE WEAR, AND THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO OBTAIN PROPER MAINTENANCE FOLLOWING A LOSS OF ENGINE OIL PRESSURE.
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