NTSB Identification: NYC04LA105.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 13, 2004 in Taylor, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/24/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-46-310P, registration: N861DD
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 was in a climb at 5,500 feet, when the engine began to vibrate and lose power. The pilot observed an increase in oil temperature, and a decrease in oil pressure; which was followed by a total loss of engine power. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field; however, during the landing, the airplane's left wing impacted a tree. Examination of the airplane revealed streaks of oil on the engine cowling, and a 6-inch hole in the top of the engine crankcase, in the vicinity of the number 2 cylinder. Further examination revealed that the number 2 connecting rod was broken into four pieces. The connecting rod journal was black in color and the metal had a "smeared" appearance. Fretting was observed on the mating surfaces of the number 2 main bearing saddles. In addition, the bearing shells had "walked" towards the rear of the engine about 1/4 of an inch. The crankcase through-bolt torques could not be determined. According to a representative of the engine manufacturer, a bearing shift could result in a decrease in oil flow to the journal, and a subsequent catastrophic engine failure. The airplane had been operated for 26 hours, since it's most recent annual inspection, which was performed about a month prior to the accident. The engine had been operated for about 1,700 hours, since it was rebuilt by TCM about 9 years prior to the accident.. The number 2 and 4 cylinders had been replaced about 830 hours prior to the accident.

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

The failure of the number 2 connecting rod, after a main bearing shift, which resulted in a catastrophic engine failure.

Full narrative available

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