NTSB Identification: CEN12LA118
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, December 31, 2011 in Elk Rapids, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-260, registration: N997TB
Injuries: 1 Minor,4 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.

The pilot reported that the airplane was in cruise flight when the engine started to run rough and vibrate. He adjusted and checked the fuel mixture, throttle, magnetos, boost pump, and carburetor heat, but the vibration continued to get worse. He executed a forced landing to a field, but the airplane impacted a line of trees at the end of the field. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the No. 1 cylinder exhaust valve was broken with about 50 percent of the valve face missing. The engine logbooks revealed that the engine was overhauled in 1994 and had accumulated 1,972.3 hours since the last overhaul. The engine manufacturer recommends that the engine be overhauled every 2,000 hours or after 12 years since last overhaul.

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

The loss of engine power due to the failure of the exhaust valve.

Full narrative available

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