NTSB Identification: ATL05TA055.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 03, 2005 in Sparta, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2006
Aircraft: Cessna T-41B, registration: N14449
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.
The pilot stated the flight was cruising at 3,500 feet mean sea level when the engine began to run rough. Moments later, engine oil sprayed on the windscreen and the cockpit filled with smoke. Several hundred yards short of runway 4, the engine lost power completely, and the propeller stopped. The pilot maneuvered the airplane to avoid trees and landed in a field. The pilot stated when the nose wheel touched down, it sank into the soft ground, and the airplane nosed over. Examination of the airplane revealed the empennage was nearly separated aft of the baggage compartment, the fuselage was buckled aft of the firewall, and damage was observed on the engine crankcase. The post-accident examination of the engine revealed the timing reference plug was missing from the crankcase. The timing reference plug threads in the crankcase were not stripped. The crankshaft did not reveal any signs of movement or rotation, and the pistons, rings, and pins in all six cylinders revealed discoloration and mechanical damage.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Improper installation of the timing reference plug by other maintenance personnel, which resulted in oil starvation, and the loss of engine power. Full narrative available
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