NTSB Identification: DEN01LA107.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 31, 2001 in Albuquerque, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/19/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-180, registration: N3708T
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After taking off and climbing to an altitude of 200 feet, the pilot heard "a single loud pop." The engine continued to develop some power but not enough for the airplane to return to the airport. The pilot said "dusk hampered visibility somewhat," and he didn't see the power lines ahead until it was too late. The right wing struck a power line and was torn off, and the airplane impacted a mesa. Examination disclosed the number 1 (right front, as viewed from the cockpit) cylinder head had separated from the cylinder barrel. The engine had accumulated 1,933.15 hours total time when it was given a "certified overhaul to new engine tolerances zero-time equivalent" and reinstalled in the airplane in 1988. Two years later, all of the cylinders were removed and the camshaft lobes and lifter faces were visually inspected for premature wear and galling. No unusual wear was noted. Only routine maintenance was recorded thereafter. At the time of the accident, the engine had accrued 1,585.04 hours since overhaul.

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

the pilot's diminished visual lookout, resulting in the wire strike. Contributing factors were the total mechanical failure of the cylinder, dusk, and the power transmission line.

Full narrative available

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