NTSB Identification: CEN10LA531
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 09, 2010 in Buchanan, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/22/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N3560B
Injuries: 1 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.

While in cruise flight at 3,000 feet above mean sea level (msl) the engine lost all power. The pilot executed a forced landing in a corn field. A postaccident inspection of the engine revealed the heads on the No. 3 cylinder intake valve lifter and the No. 4 cylinder intake valve lifter were fractured with a portion of the head separated. The entire head of the No.4 cylinder exhaust valve lifter was separated from the lifter body and the fractured surface on the body was completely smeared from impact damage. The extensive damage to the No. 4 cylinder exhaust valve likely indicated it was the first failure in the sequence; however, the damage precluded a determination of the failure mode. Six pieces of the separated sections from the remaining valve lifter heads were found inside the crankcase. Their fractured surfaces did not show any indications of fatigue. The engine had accumulated 1,637 hours since the overhaul. Reconditioned lifters were installed on the engine during the overhaul.

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

A failure of the engine's No. 3 and No. 4 cylinder valve lifters for undetermined reasons, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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