ANC94LA097
ANC94LA097

On August 5, 1994 at 1450 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Cessna 206 airplane, N5200X, registered to and operated by 40 Mile Air LTD, of Tok, Alaska, experienced a rise in oil temperature, a drop in oil pressure, and a subsequent engine stoppage during cruise flight. The flight was forced to land on Mosquito Flats and nosed over during the landing roll. The air taxi flight, operating under 14 CFR Part 135, departed Tok for a local flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a company flight plan was in effect. The pilot and the passenger were not injured and the airplane received substantial damage.

According to the pilot, he saw a rise in oil temperature and a drop in oil pressure. He immediately reversed course to return to Tok. The engine stopped producing power before reaching the airport and he was forced to land on the muskeg.

Examination of the engine showed that the number 6 cylinder piston pin cap was missing. The number 6 connecting rod cap was found broken in three major pieces and numerous smaller pieces. According to John Lauer, Customer Service Representative for Superior Air Parts, the number on the piston pin identifies the pin as a German manufactured piston pin and the Service Bulletin, which recalls the Superior Air Parts Piston Pin number SA520046, does not apply to that installed piston pin.

Mr. Lauer stated that in the past, and as a result of his experiences, the reasons for piston pin failures could be misalignment, rod fit/pin fit in small end of rod bushing, a bent or twisted connecting rod, too much endplay (thrust washer), infrequent oil changes which would allow the pin to bind up, and wear in the bushing in the rod. The examination of the engine could not show which of these situations applied. Mr. Lauer stated that this event occurred in a relatively brief period of time, and that the metal introduced into the engine resulted in oil starvation.

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