NTSB Identification: DEN03LA050.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 13, 2003 in Delta, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N16438
Injuries: 2 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's engine had just been overhauled, and this was the initial flight test. The pilot said the airplane was performing normally, then the engine speed (rpm) increased to red line. He adjusted the prop control to compensate for the high engine rpm, but the engine stopped. The pilot then told the pilot-flying that he had control of the airplane. He proceeded to shut the fuel off, and selected a field for the forced landing. He stabilized the airplane at best glide airspeed, and subsequently the landing gear automatically deployed. The pilot selected a secondary landing site, which was on the back side of a hill. The airplane bounced several times while "rapidly" descending down the hill. The airplane came to rest with the nose gear and left main gear collapsed. Additionally, the left wing spar and firewall were bent. A postaccident examination of the engine showed that one oil pressure fitting in the engine accessory drive case had not been capped.

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

the loss of engine power due to company maintenance personnel's inadequate major engine overhaul (an oil pressure fitting in the engine accessory drive case had not been capped). Contributing factors were the loss of engine oil, and lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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