NTSB Identification: ERA12LA267
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 03, 2012 in Eastover, SC
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28R-200, registration: N961JD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On April 3, 2012, about 1400 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N461JD, was substantially damaged during a forced landing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base (MMT), Eastover, South Carolina. The certificated private pilot and the passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The airplane was not operating on a flight plan, from Barnwell Regional Airport (BNL), Barnwell, South Carolina, to Tappahannock-Essex County Airport (XSA), Tappahannock, Virginia. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, the previous evening, he added one quart of oil to the engine, and in the morning, prior to a first flight from Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), Lakeland, Florida, to BNL, he conducted a complete preflight inspection. After arriving at BNL, and subsequent to refueling, the pilot completed another walk-around inspection. The airplane departed BNL about 1330, and approximately 25 minutes later, the [Lycoming IO-360-C1C] engine began to run rough. The pilot checked the magnetos, and noted that all four cylinder head temperatures and all four exhaust gas temperatures were normal. The pilot reduced power to 20 inches and 2,000 rpm, but engine roughness increased, and oil pressure dropped to zero in about 1 minute.

The pilot planned to divert to Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE), Columbia, South Carolina; however, the airplane had descended to 1,500 feet when he saw MMT, and he decided to divert to runway 32.

Because of rapidity in which the forced landing developed, the pilot did not have time to change to the tower frequency, and as he approached the runway, he saw an F-16 take off from runway 14. After another F-16 took off from runway 14, the accident airplane was caught in its wake turbulence and rolled about 45 degrees. As the airplane continued to descend, through about 100 feet agl, the pilot was able to recover it to wings level but did not have sufficient altitude to properly align with the runway. He landed the airplane at a 20- to 30-degree angle to the runway, and it veered off the right side. To avoid a terrain drop off, the pilot then aligned the airplane parallel to the runway but it struck a runway remaining sign traveling at approximately 50 mph before coming to a stop.

After deplaning, the pilot observed engine oil covering the nose landing gear and the landing gear doors.

Subsequent examination of the airplane revealed that the engine #2 cylinder upper aft through-bolt was sheared off, the #2 cylinder upper mounting studs were loose and backed off from the crank case, and the crank case was cracked, with oil leaking in the vicinity of the #2 cylinder lower aft through-bolt.

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