NTSB Identification: LAX07LA022.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 28, 2006 in Turlock, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/2007
Aircraft: Fish Vans RV-6, registration: N1198N
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 experienced a partial loss of engine power and collided with the ground during the pilot's attemp to return to the departure runway. After reaching about 500 feet above ground level (agl) in the takeoff initial climb, the pilot noted a loss of engine revolutions per minute (rpm) and a decrease in airspeed. He maneuvered the airplane in a 180-degree turn in an attempt to return to the runway. The airplane stalled and the pilot attempted to recover. The airplane entered an accelerated stall again and descended rapidly. Upon impact, the airplane touched down hard, subsequently nosing over and coming to rest inverted. The pilot performed a post-accident examination of the engine and discovered that both spark plugs in the no. 4 cylinder were oil fouled. Additional investigation found that two of the rings on the number four piston were broken, allowing oil to move past the piston into the combustion chamber.

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

a partial loss of engine power due to the broken piston rings in the no. 4 cylinder. Also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering for a forced landing, which resulted in a stall/mush.

Full narrative available

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