NTSB Identification: ERA12LA469
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, July 20, 2012 in Statesboro, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2012
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N3692R
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.

About 5 minutes after takeoff, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power and impacted a row of trees during the resultant forced landing. The accident flight was the first following a 100-hour maintenance inspection. The pilot/mechanic reported that he had changed the engine oil and oil filter as part of that inspection; however, he did not utilize a torque wrench to tighten the filter as required. Oil was noted on the ground, beginning in the area outside of the hangar doors where the maintenance was performed to the departure runway. Postaccident examination revealed that the filter was secured in place with a safety wire; however, it was able to be freely rotated by hand to the extent of that wire. It is likely that during the operation of the engine on the accident flight, oil escaped around the oil filter, which resulted in oil exhaustion and subsequent seizure of the engine.

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

A total loss of engine power as a result of oil exhaustion due to the mechanic's failure to apply appropriate torque to the oil filter.

Full narrative available

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