NYC96LA028
NYC96LA028

On November 26, 1995, at 1210 eastern standard time, a Stinson 108-2, N344C, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing in Southbridge, Massachusetts. The private pilot received serious injuries, and the two passengers received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight, which departed New Bedford, Massachusetts destined for Warehouse Point, Connecticut. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In the NTSB form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated:

...Took off and headed back to [Wharehouse Point, Connecticut]. Everything went fine until we got to Southbridge. We were about 4 miles past Southbridge, I heard a slight noise and noticed a drop of 50 RPM. I pulled [carburetor] heat and went to full rich on fuel. The engine seemed to smooth out, so I started to close the [carburetor] heat. When [carburetor] heat about 1/2 closed, I noticed RPM dropping to zero, and I could [see] propeller tips going by. I tried once to restart, but no response.

The pilot performed a forced landing to the backyard of a private residence, during which the airplane collided with trees.

Postaccident examination of the engine by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Inspector revealed that the engine crankshaft was separated in three pieces. The FAA Inspector's report stated:

...The failure of the crankshaft is suspected to be the cause of the engine failure. There was very minor damage to the propeller....The failed crankshaft has evidence of a fatigue fracture at the number 6 web. The FAA IIC believes the crankshaft failure was not a result of impact, but in fact failed in flight from a propagating fatigue crack.

The report further stated:

...Two people...in the woods witnessed the accident....Both witnesses cannot recall hearing engine operating noise....

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