NTSB Identification: ATL89LA178.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41042.
Accident occurred Tuesday, July 11, 1989 in COLUMBUS, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32RT-300T, registration: N2153K
Injuries: 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 ENGINE DEVELOPED A MASSIVE OIL LEAK DURING CRUISE & THE ENGINE LOST POWER. THE PLT MADE A FORCED LDG AT THE NEAREST ARPT. THE PLT WAS UNABLE TO CLEARLY SEE THE RWY DUE TO OIL COVERING THE WINDSHIELD, AND MADE A HARD LDG AS A RESULT. THE LDG GEAR COLLAPSED DURING THE LDG. POST-ACCIDENT EXAM OF THE ENGINE REVEALED THAT AN IMPROPER LENGTH SET-SCREW HAD BEEN INSTALLED TO RETAIN THE PROP GOVERNOR IDLER-GEAR SHAFT IN PLACE; THE SCREW WAS TOO SHORT, WHICH PREVENTED THE PROPER USE OF STAKING TO SECURE THE SCREW IN PLACE AGAINST THE SHAFT. THE SCREW BACKED OFF AND ALLOWED THE NORMALLY-STATIONARY SHAFT TO ROTATE. THE SHAFT CUT THROUGH AN ACCESS PLUG ON THE FRONT OF THE ENGINE, WHICH ALLOWED OIL TO DRAIN OVERBOARD. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE SCREW WAS MOST LIKELY INSTALLED WHEN THE IDLER GEARS WERE REPLACED DURING A SUDDEN-STOPPAGE INSPECTION. LYCOMING SERVICE INSTRUCTION 1343 DESCRIBES HOW THE LENGTH OF THE SET SCREW SHOULD BE DETERMINED, AND HOW THE SCREW SHOULD BE INSTALLED.

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

THE IMPROPER INSTALLATION OF THE PROPELLER GOVERNOR IDLER-GEAR SHAFT RETAINING SET-SCREW, WHICH LED TO AN ENGINE OIL LEAK AND RESULTED IN A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER; AND THE REDUCTION OF THE PILOT'S ABILITY TO SEE OUTSIDE THE AIRPLANE DUE TO OIL ON THE WINDSHIELD.

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