BFO95LA003
BFO95LA003

On October 10, 1994, about 1115 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N8908J, lost partial engine power during initial climb and impacted trees during the off airport forced landing. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The airplane was destroyed. The personal flight departed the Ebensburg Airport in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania, and was destined for Lexington, Kentucky. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91.

The pilot reported, "Takeoff run and initial climb normal. At approx. 100 AGL noticed decrease in engine RPM and slight roughness. Engine still running. Made an immediate left turn to downwind." The pilot stated he verified that the magneto switch was on the "BOTH" position and that the auxiliary fuel pump was on. He stated he added heat to the carburetor during the last few seconds of the flight. The pilot stated the airplane could not maintain altitude so he initiated an off airport landing. He stated that after the airplane touched down, the right wing impacted trees and the airplane rotated to the right and collided with an embankment.

The engine was examined under the supervision of a Federal Aviation Administration Safety Inspector. The Safety Inspector reported, "...the nylon gear on the rotating magnet [on the right magneto] had failed. There was no evidence of sudden stoppage." He further reported, "All cylinders were satisfactory except #3. There was approximately ten pounds of compression...the valves were checked and they were burned and eroded. The seats were burnt and the entire cylinder was of a color that indicated it was running lean. It was discovered that the primer line in that cylinder had been broken for sometime which may account for the burned valves."

The Safety Inspector also noted that at the time of takeoff the airplane had a full fuel load, two occupants, baggage, and cargo on board.

At the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated 235 hours since overhaul and 77 hours since it received an annual inspection. The engine and airframe had accumulated a total of 3,389 hours.

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