NTSB Identification: WPR11FA348
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 22, 2011 in Darby, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/07/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 210-5(205), registration: N8427Z
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, while in a cruise flight, the engine began to run rough and eventually lost power. The pilot subsequently initiated a forced landing to a gravel road, and the airplane collided with a tree during the landing roll.

Postaccident examination of the engine found a 4-inch by 2-inch hole and material loss on the bottom side of the aluminum air intake duct assembly. The circumference of the hole was an irregular shape with both jagged and smooth edges/fracture surfaces. The fractures were consistent with fatigue and were possibly the result of vibration. Internal borescope examination of the cylinders revealed mechanical etching to the No. 4 and No. 6 combustion chambers and associated valve heads. The corresponding spark plugs were removed and mechanical damage was noted. The ground electrodes were bent down onto the insulators and center electrodes. No other mechanical failures were noted with the engine or airframe.

It is likely that the missing aluminum duct material was ingested into the cylinders, which resulted in a loss of engine power. Although there was evidence that a weld repair had been performed on the air intake duct near the area of the hole, it could not be determined if it contributed to the hole and loss of material.

A review of the airplaneā€™s maintenance records showed no recent modifications or repairs to the engine air intake duct.

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

The fatigue failure of the aluminum air intake duct, which resulted in material being ingested into the engine cylinders and a subsequent loss of engine power during cruise flight.

Full narrative available

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