NTSB Identification: ATL89FA166.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41855.
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 21, 1989 in LITHIA SPRINGS, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-60-601P, registration: N83AT
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

ELEVEN MINUTES AFTER DEPARTURE THE PILOT REPORTED SMOKE AND A RIGHT ENGINE PROBLEM, THEN SAID 'GOING DOWN'. RIGHT WING AND ENGINE ASSEMBLIES SEPARATED IN FLIGHT. FIRE DAMAGE VICINITY OF RIGHT ENGINE LEFT TURBOCHARGER; TAILPIPE ASSEMBLY HAD SEPARATED. HEAVY SMOKE & HEAT DAMAGE BETWEEN RIGHT WING FORWARD & AFT WING SPARS. TAILPIPE HAD FAILED IN FATIGUE NEAR FLANGE WHERE ATTACHED TO TURBOCHARGER EXHAUST PORT. EVIDENCE OF NON-UNIFORMLY SEATED GASKET BETWEEN FLANGES. ALSO, RIGHT ENGINE LOWER LEFT ENGINE MOUNT DETERIORATED; SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF RUBBER MISSING. PIPER SB #818 (AD87-07-09) ACCOMPLISHED 5/21/88; REQUIRES REMOVAL & INSPECTION OF EXHAUST SYSTEM FOR CRACKS AND REINSTALLATION WITH NEW FLANGE GASKETS.

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

INFLIGHT ENGINE/WING FIRE DUE TO A FAILURE OF THE RIGHT ENGINE'S LEFT EXHAUST TAILPIPE. THE EXHAUST TAILPIPE FAILED IN FATIGUE AS A RESULT OF FLUCTUATING STRESSES INDUCED BY A DETERIORATED ENGINE MOUNT IN CONJUNCTION WITH UNEVENLY DISTRIBUTED CLAMPING LOADS CAUSED BY AN IMPROPERLY SEATED GASKET.

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