On February 12, 1999, about 0821 eastern standard time, a Cessna 210G, N5874F, registered to Gallops, Inc., operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight, crashed following an engine failure while in cruise flight in the vicinity of Lake Placid, Florida. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and an IFR flight plan was filed. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the commercial-rated pilot, the sole occupant, suffered minor injuries. The flight departed Pilot Country Airport, Brooksville, Florida, about 0745.

According to the pilot, the flight was positioning to Miami's Opa Locka Airport, to pick up freight. The flight was at an altitude of 5,000 feet agl, under radar control from Miami ARTCC, when the pilot heard a "snap/thud, followed by a popping noise," followed by the engine and propeller stopping. The pilot said, "...all indications were in the green at the time of the noise. [I] had full fuel, [and] engaged the boost pump prior to the propeller stoppage." He tried to restart the engine without success, and the propeller would not turn. The pilot realized he could not make it safely to an airport, and needed to land as soon as possible. The pilot landed the airplane in a pasture about 8 miles north of the Lake Placid Airport. At touchdown the pilot saw a tree in his path, and he tried to avoid the tree by applying rudder. The airplane struck a tree with the left wing, separating the wing from the airframe. The nose and right main landing gear hit the up slope of a gully causing both gears to separate.

According to an FAA inspector, subsequent disassembly examination of the Teledyne Continental Motors IO-520 engine revealed a broken crankshaft at the No. 3 cheek, between the No. 2 main journal and the No. 2 rod journal. According to the engine logbook, Teledyne Continental Motors had remanufactured and zero-timed the engine on December 9, 1997, and the engine had accumulated about 1623 hours since that time.

The crankshaft was examined at the NTSB Materials Laboratory, Washington, D.C. Examination revealed that the crankshaft separated due to a fatigue crack that originated from the aft fillet radius of the No. 2 main journal. The fatigue area contained circumferential gouge marks and heat damage that was consistent with a bearing shell that had rotated or shifted. The bearing shell from the No. 1 rod journal also contained wear damage on the aft and forward edges that were consistent with shifting during engine operation. (See the NTSB Materials Laboratory Factual Report, an attachment to this report).

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