NTSB Identification: LAX89FA295.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42403.
Accident occurred Saturday, September 02, 1989 in MAR VISTA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/09/1992
Aircraft: NORTH AMERICAN P51D, registration: N51MR
Injuries: 2 Serious.
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.
THE ENGINE'S NUMBER 5 INTAKE VALVE SEAT BACKED OUT OF THE HEAD IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKEOFF, RESULTING IN THE LOSS OF POWER OF 3 CYLINDERS. THE PILOT ENTERED A TURN TO RETURN TO THE RUNWAY. THE AIRCRAFT STALLED AND COLLIDED WITH A RESIDENCE. THE AIRCRAFT FLIGHT MANUAL RECOMMENDED A STRAIGHT AHEAD FLIGHT PATH IN THE EVENT OF A POWER LOSS. THE REMAINING 9 CYLINDERS WERE PRODUCING SUFFICIENT POWER TO ENABLE THE AIRCRAFT TO SLOWLY CLIMB ON A STRAIGHT AHEAD FLIGHT PATH.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: THE PILOT'S POOR IN-FLIGHT PLANNING IN ATTEMPTING TO IMMEDIATELY RETURN TO THE AIRPORT AND NOT FOLLOWING ESTABLISHED PROCEDURES AFTER THE LOSS OF POWER AFTER TAKEOFF. THE FAILURE OF AN INTAKE VALVE WAS A FACTOR IN THE ACCIDENT.
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