MIA99LA032
MIA99LA032

On November 12, 1998, about 1250 eastern standard time, a Cessna 152, N48013, registered to Blanco Aviation, Inc., leased to and operated by Dean International, Inc., was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Coral Reef Senior High School, Miami, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The private-rated pilot, and one passenger were not injured. The flight originated about 1245, from the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, Miami, Florida.

The pilot stated that after takeoff, she heard a sound and suddenly she felt a vibration. She advised the controller of this and turned to return to the departure airport. During the turn to return, the engine experienced a loss of power. Unable to maintain altitude, she maneuvered the airplane towards a school field and landed near the end of the field with a tailwind. The airplane then bounced, and with electrical wires ahead, she pushed the control column forward. While airborne, the main landing gear wheels then collided with a chain limk fence, the airplane flew across a road, collided with another chain link fence, and came to rest with the fuselage nearly vertical.

Examination of the engine was performed by an FAA airworthiness inspector 6 days after the accident which revealed that the number 3 cylinder connecting rod was failed. The cylinder walls and pistons from the Nos. 1 and 3 cylinders were noted to be dry and the No. 3 main bearing was noted to be extruded from the journal area of the crankcase. Examination of the oil pump gears revealed no evidence of failure or malfunction and the engine oil sump was drained and found to contain about 1.25 gallons of oil. Oil was also found in the oil cooler and oil cooler lines. Additionally, subsequent examination of the engine was performed which revealed that the oil filter was full of oil. The connecting rod bearings from the Nos. 1, 2, and 4 cylinders were examined with no evidence of abnormal wear. Examination of the crankshaft journals for those cylinders revealed the absence of discoloration. The oil screens and oil pump were inspected and reportedly did not contain an excessive amount of ferrous or non-ferrous material. Fragments that were recovered from the engine sump consisted of a segment of the connecting rod cap and rod with rod bolt and nut, broken rod bolt, segment of connecting rod, bearing shells, aluminum sheet material, and crankcase material. The items were submitted to the NTSB Metallurgy Laboratory in Washington, D.C., for examination.

Examination of the submitted components by the NTSB Metallurgical Laboratory revealed severe mechanical damage. Examination of the fracture surfaces that did not contain mechanical damage revealed overstress separation type fractures, with no evidence of preexisting fractures noted. There was no evidence of oil starvation to the observed parts. The surface areas of the connecting rod fragments, attachment bolt fragment, and bearing shells were noted to be covered with a black deposit. The black deposit was determined by energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy to be lead-bromide which is a byproduct of combustion. A measurement of one of the recovered segments of the bearing shell revealed the thickness to be between .019 and .022 inch. According to a representative of the engine manufacturer who referenced the drawing specifications for the connecting rod bearings, the thickness dimension of the steel back portion of the bearing is specified as .056-.066 inch.

Review of the engine maintenance records revealed that the engine was overhauled by the engine manufacturer on December 26, 1990, and based on the type of pistons installed, the recommended time between overhaul was 2,400 hours. The engine was determined to have accumulated 2,611 hours since major overhaul at the time of failure.

The airplane minus the retained components was released to Mr. David R. Lucas, of Dave Lucas International, on June 10, 1999. The retained components were also released to Mr. Lucas on June 11, 1999.

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