NTSB Identification: CHI07LA287
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 31, 2007 in Fort Wayne, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: MOONEY M20K, registration: N231BQ
Injuries: 3 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 had just leveled off at 6500 feet, after departure, when the engine vibrated and lost full power. During an attempted return to the departure airport, the pilot realized that he could not make any runway and chose to make a forced landing into a corn field. The airplane was substantially damaged during the forced landing. Postaccident disassembly of the engine disclosed that the number two connecting rod had separated from the crankshaft; one of the connecting rod bolts had sheared. Inspection of the fracture surface of this connecting rod bolt disclosed there were signature marks of metal fatigue across the bolt shear face that had initiated at the surface of the bolt. The number two cylinder had been replaced about 8 hours prior to the accident; however, the connecting rod had not been removed from the crankshaft during the cylinder replacement.

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

A total loss of engine power due to the fatigue failure of one of the number two cylinder connecting rod bolts.

Full narrative available

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