NTSB Identification: IAD05LA133.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 06, 2005 in Babylon, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N8270M
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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 pilot leveled the airplane after takeoff, and encountered "a lot of roughness in the engine." The engine rpm fluctuated greatly, the entire airframe vibrated, and the windscreen became covered in oil. The pilot declared an emergency and attempted a return to the departure airport. The engine power continued to decrease, and the airplane could not maintain altitude, so the pilot selected a parking lot for landing. During the landing, the airplane cleared a vehicle in its path, touched down, overran the lot, and collided with two rows of bushes before it came to rest against a sand dune. Examination of the airplane revealed holes in the engine case in the area of the No. 1 exhaust tappet and the No. 3 exhaust tappet. Partial disassembly revealed that the No. 3 piston "split in half" at the oil control ring/piston ring journal, and the No. 1 exhaust valve tappet was broken. Maintenance records revealed that the engine had accumulated 771 hours beyond the manufacturer's recommended 2,000-hour time between overhaul.

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

A broken piston and exhaust valve tappet which resulted in a total loss of engine power, and a forced landing to unsuitable terrain. A contributing factor was the failure of the operator to overhaul the engine at the manufacturer's recommended interval.

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