NTSB Identification: ATL06LA077.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 10, 2006 in Hemmingway, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N15702
Injuries: 1 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 stated that he was cleared by Myrtle Beach Approach Control to descend from 7,000 feet to 3,000 feet. While descending through 6,000 feet, the pilot heard a "pop" sound, and the engine began to run rough with partial power. The pilot looked at the engine monitor gage and the No. 3 engine cylinder temperature gage indicated 900 degrees. The pilot declared an emergency with the controller, decreased power, requested and received clearance to the nearest airport, made a 180 degree turn and continued his descent through the clouds. Upon reaching visual flight conditions the pilot observed the airport straight ahead. The pilot descended over the airport to lose altitude and turned on final approach. The engine failed at 300 feet, the pilot initiated a forced landing to an open field and the airplane collided with trees and the ground. Examination of the engine assembly revealed the No.3 engine cylinder exhaust valve had failed. The valve was forwarded to the NTSB Metallurgical Laboratory for further analysis. The examination revealed the exhaust valve failed due to fatigue resulting from thermal stress.

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

A loss of engine power due to a total failure of the No.3 engine cylinder exhaust valve as a result of fatigue from over temperature resulting in a forced landing and collision with trees and the ground.

Full narrative available

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