NTSB Identification: ERA11LA103
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 31, 2010 in Wimauma, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/11/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 152, registration: N28BA
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.

During initial climb from the airstrip, about 300 feet above ground level, the mechanic/pilot heard a loud noise, followed by a partial loss of engine power. He leveled the nose and verified that the throttle lever was in the full forward position; however, he was unable to maintain altitude. During the subsequent forced landing to a field, the airplane struck a fence. According to the pilot, another pilot who flew the airplane previously reported a rough running engine and had to perform an uneventful precautionary landing to an airstrip. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the No. 2 top spark plug and its associated heli-coil had separated from the cylinder. Further examination revealed that the spark plug and cylinder threads were worn and an approximate 2-inch crack originated near the cylinder head threads. Additionally, the area around the top and bottom spark plug holes exhibited evidence of exhaust gas leakage, which would have most likely been visible during the most recent maintenance inspection. At the time of the accident, the airplane had been operated about 77 hours since its most recent 100-hour inspection, which was completed about 3 months prior to the accident. The No. 2 overhauled cylinder had been operated for 832 hours since it was installed, about 4 years prior to the accident.

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

The mechanic/pilot's failure to detect a visible exhaust gas leak and cracked cylinder head immediately prior to the accident flight, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power during initial climb. Contributing to the accident was an inadequate 100-hour maintenance inspection, which also failed to detect a visible exhaust gas leak.

Full narrative available

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