NTSB Identification: CHI02LA150.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 31, 2002 in Sparta, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N5360P
Injuries: 4 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 airplane was substantially damaged when the gear collapsed during a forced landing due to a total loss of engine power. The airplane was directly over the Festus Memorial Airport (FES), Festus, Missouri when the engine started to run rough. The pilot decided to return to the Sparta Community-Hunter Field Airport (SAR), Sparta, Illinois, approximately 35 nautical miles (nm) from FES. The engine experienced a total loss of engine power approximately eight nm from SAR and the pilot executed an emergency landing on a wheat field. The number five cylinder was found to have separated from the engine. The last major overhaul on the engine was conducted on November 1, 1988 and the engine had accumulated 526 hours since the overhaul. The engine manufacturer recommends the engine be overhauled every 12 years even if the engine does not meet the time between overhaul hours.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The total loss of engine power due to a separated cylinder and the failure of the pilot to perform a precautionary landing at the nearest suitable airport when the engine had a partial loss of engine power. The failure of the aircraft owners to perform an engine overhaul and the unsuitable terrain encountered during the emergency landing were contributing factors. Full narrative available
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