NTSB Identification: ERA10LA486
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, September 19, 2010 in Barnwell, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/23/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-200, registration: N799SQ
Injuries: 2 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.
After fueling the airplane and checking the engine oil quantity, the pilot and his passenger departed for their destination. During the initial climb, about 1,000 feet above mean sea level, the airplane began to make a loud banging noise and started to shake violently. The pilot looked at the oil pressure gauge and noticed that there was no oil pressure. The pilot then attempted to turn back to the airport but realized that he would be unable to reach it. He observed that there was a small field to his left so he chose to land the airplane in the field. There were a few small trees in the center of the field and he tried to clear them but was unable to do so. The airplane struck the trees and the wings separated from the fuselage. The airplane then impacted the ground, the landing gear separated from the airplane, and the airplane slid to a stop on its belly.
A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that it contained oil and that the oil pump was functional. Further examination revealed that the end cap from the No. 1 connecting rod had broken. At the time of the accident the engine operating time had exceeded the manufacturer's recommended time between overhauls (TBO) by 79.1 hours, but it could not be determined why the end cap failed or if the exceedence of the recommended TBO contributed to the failure.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The failure of the No. 1 connecting rod end cap for undetermined reasons, which resulted in a total loss of engine power. Full narrative available
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