NTSB Identification: CEN09LA105
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, December 28, 2008 in Santo Domingo Pueblo, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/22/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-201, registration: N3064M
Injuries: 4 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.

Following a three-hour preheat, utilizing a Tanis heater, the flight departed and entered a cruise condition at 10,500 feet. While in cruise flight, the pilot noted a loss of oil pressure and reversed course to head back to the airport. While en route to the airport the engine began to run rough and eventually stopped running. During the forced landing, the right wing impacted a fence post resulting in substantial damage. Examination of the engine revealed a large hole just above the number two cylinder orifice, in addition to mechanical damage throughout the engine. The number one and two connecting rods, bearings, and journals all exhibited extensive mechanical and lubrication damage consistent with oil starvation. An examination of the remaining engine components revealed no anomalies. The reason for the loss of oil pressure and oil starvation in the engine was not determined.

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

A loss of engine power due a loss of oil pressure resulting in heat distress and mechanical failure of the engine. The reason for the loss of oil pressure was not determined.

Full narrative available

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