NTSB Identification: WPR09LA458
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 19, 2009 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: CASSUTT III M, registration: C-FDXO
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 was involved in a race and observed the engine begin to overheat. He elected to perform a precautionary landing and adjoined the traffic pattern of the nearby airport. While on the base leg to the runway, the engine stopped producing power and the airplane began to rapidly loose altitude. The airplane landed hard about 50 yards from the approach end of the runway, resulting in substantial damage to the airframe's tubular steel structure. A portion of a connecting rod was located within the debris surrounding the wreckage. An examination of the engine revealed a hole in the crankcase above the Nos. 1 and 2 cylinders. The connecting rod for the No. 2 cylinder was fractured and separated below the piston wrist pin; the piston end rotated freely and the crankshaft end was fractured. The connecting rod pieces exhibited blue discoloration and the fracture surfaces exhibited mechanical peen damage. The crankshaft journal for the cylinder No. 2 connecting rod exhibited a blue discoloration, as did the camshaft journal. The No. 2 connecting rod bearings showed a similar blue discoloration. The oil screen contained magnetic metallic debris.

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

The loss of engine power due to failure of the No. 2 connecting rod as a result of operation of the engine at excessive temperatures.

Full narrative available

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