NTSB Identification: NYC08LA280
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 16, 2008 in Fulton, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/21/2010
Aircraft: SOCATA MS894A, registration: N31BF
Injuries: 2 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 level at 400 feet above ground level when he heard a "bang," the airplane began to vibrate, and the engine stopped. He lowered the nose for the airplane's best glide speed and initiated a forced landing to a nearby open field. While on final approach to the field the airplane collided with trees and then the ground. The crankshaft and connecting rod were forwarded to the Safety Board's Metallurgical Laboratory for further analysis. Examination of the crankshaft's ten bearing journals revealed surface finishes that were consistent with a turning operation but not with a grinding operation as specified in the overhaul manual. Examination of the engine assembly revealed that the crankshaft and the No. 3 engine cylinder connecting rod had failed. The examination revealed that the crankshaft failed in fatigue and initiated in machining marks in the rear radius of the No. 3 and 4 connecting rod bearing journals. An engine logbook entry indicated that the main and rod bearing journals had been "turned" and their diameter reduced by 0.010-inch in accordance with the Franklin overhaul manual. Journal diameters were measured and were consistent with 0.010-inch begin removed; however, the table in the overhaul manual specified a tolerance of 0.0010-inch and the dimensions indicated a tolerance of 0.0020-inch, which was contrary to the overhaul manual. The overhaul manual also recommends that the crankshafts be returned to the factory for grinding and re-nitriding. No logbook entries were located to verify that re-nitriding had been carried out.

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

A loss of engine power due to fatigue failure of the crankshaft and the No. 3 engine cylinder connecting rod as a result of improper machining of the engine crankshaft during engine overhaul by maintenance personnel.

Full narrative available

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