NTSB Identification: WPR09CA114
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Thursday, February 12, 2009 in Buttonwillow, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2009
Aircraft: SCHWEIZER G-164B, registration: N3626T
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.

While en route to an agriculture application job, the airplane's engine exhaust started shaking, then smoke started coming off the engine. The pilot landed on a farm road. During the landing his visibility was limited by the smoke, and the right wheel went off the road into soft mud. The airplane swerved to the right and nosed over. Examination of the engine disclosed that the number four cylinder base nuts had backed off, allowing the cylinder to separate from the engine case.

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

A loss of engine power due to the number four cylinder base nuts becoming loose, allowing the cylinder to detach from the engine case. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's impaired visibility due to smoke during the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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