NTSB Identification: LAX89LA217.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40028.
Accident occurred Saturday, June 17, 1989 in PICACHO, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/29/1991
Aircraft: CESSNA 421, registration: N421S
Injuries: 4 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.

THE LEFT ENGINE LOST POWER JUST AFTER TAKEOFF. WITH THE GEAR AND FLAPS RETRACTED AND THE LEFT PROPELLER FEATHERED, THE AIRPLANE WOULD CLIMB SLIGHTLY. AS IT PASSED OVER GREEN FIELDS, THE AIRPLANE STARTED A DESCENT. THE AIRPLANE TOUCHED DOWN IN A COTTON FIELD AND THE LEFT TIP TANK BURST INTO FLAMES AS IT TOUCHED THE GROUND. THE AIRPLANE WAS CONSUMED BY FIRE. ENGINE TEARDOWN REVEALED THE NUMBER THREE EXHAUST VALVE FAILED. ELEVATION OF THE ACCIDENT WAS 1,600 FEET MST, OAT WAS 114 DEGREES F. DENSITY ALTITUDE WAS APPROXIMATELY 5,600 FEET.

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

FAILURE OF THE NUMBER THREE EXHAUST VALVE ON THE LEFT ENGINE. A MAJOR FACTOR WAS THE HIGH DENSITY ALTITUDE WHERE THE AIRPLANE WOULD NOT OPERATE ON SINGLE ENGINE.

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