NTSB Identification: CHI89DEM10.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40818.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 30, 1989 in INTERLOCHEN, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/05/1991
Aircraft: FLETCHER SONERAI-2L, registration: N76DJ
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB AFTER TAKEOFF, THE ENG LOST POWER. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE PLT WAS UNABLE TO RETURN TO THE ARPT & THE ACFT COLLIDED WITH TREES DURING AN EMERGENCY LANDING. NEW VALVES HAD RECENTLY BEEN INSTALLED IN THE ENG. AN EXAM OF THE HOME BUILT ACFT'S ENG REVEALED THE #3 CYLINDER HEAD WAS LOOSE & A HOLE HAD MELTED IN THE ALUMINUM CYLINDER HEAD.

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

LOOSE CYLINDER DUE TO IMPROPER MAINTENANCE BY THE PILOT/OWNER, WHICH RESULTED IN OVERHEATING AND FAILURE OF THE ALUMINUM CYLINDER HEAD. THE PRESENCE OF TREES WAS CONSIDERED TO BE A FACTOR.

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