NTSB Identification: CEN09CA080
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, November 20, 2008 in Bloomington, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/2009
Aircraft: BEECH E35, registration: N3213C
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that the engine began to run rough during cruise flight at 6,000 feet mean sea level. He noted that the takeoff and climb were uneventful, and that the personal instrument-flight-rules flight had proceeded normally to that point. He advised air traffic control of the situation and elected to divert to an intermediate airport located approximately 10 miles west of his present position. The pilot increased the mixture, switched fuel tanks, and applied carburetor heat in an attempt to address the rough running engine; however, those efforts were not successful. The number one cylinder temperature had dropped and the engine oil pressure subsequently went to zero. He notified the controller that he would be unable to make it to the runway and set up for a forced landing in a pasture about 3.5 miles east of the airport. The terrain consisted of rolling hills. After touchdown, he was unable to stop the airplane before the aircraft impacted a fence or trees. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the leading edges of both wings. A postaccident inspection revealed that the number one cylinder exhaust valve had failed at the base of the valve stem. The intake valve and piston sustained mechanical damage as a result. The secondary mechanical damage precluded a metallurgical examination of the fracture surface of the exhaust valve stem. The engine had accumulated about 1,130 hours since overhaul and the airplane had accumulated about 26 hours of flight time since the most recent annual inspection, which was completed approximately one month prior to the accident.

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

A partial loss of engine power due to a failure of the number one cylinder exhaust valve, and the associated secondary damage to the intake valve and piston.

Full narrative available

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