NTSB Identification: BFO91DID01.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43987.
Accident occurred Thursday, November 08, 1990 in SUFFOLK, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/1993
Aircraft: AERONCA CHAMPION 7BCM, registration: N7702B
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

THE ACFT WAS CLIMBING OUT AFTER THE SECOND TOUCH-AND-GO LANDING, WHEN WITNESSES REPORTED HEARING POPPING NOISES FROM THE ENGINE. THE ACFT NOSED DOWN, DESCENDED, AND CRASHED IN A WOODED AREA ABOUT 1,000 FT PAST THE END OF THE RWY. INVESTIGATION REVEALED A COMPRESSION TEST READING OF 17/80 FOR THE #2 CYLINDER; THE EXHAUST VALVE GUIDE AND SEAT WERE MISALIGNED. IN ADDITION, ALL THE ENGINE INTAKE CONNECTOR HOSES WERE DRY-ROTTED, THE SPARK PLUGS APPPEARED TO BE GAPPED TOO TIGHTLY, AND ONE LEAD WAS NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED. THE LAST ANNUAL INSPECTION WAS DONE ABOUT A WEEK BEFORE THE ACCIDENT, AND THE ACFT HAD OPERATED ABOUT 15 HRS SINCE THEN.

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

A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO LOW CYLINDER COMPRESSION. THE LOW COMPRESSION WAS A RESULT OF EXHAUST VALVE LEAKAGE AND INADEQUATE MAINTENANCE AND INSPECTION. IN ADDITION, THE PILOT FAILED TO MAINTAIN ADEQUATE AIRSPEED WHICH RESULTED IN THE AIRPLANE STALLING.

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