NYC93LA176
NYC93LA176

On Saturday, August 28, 1993, at about 1535 eastern daylight time, a Champion, Citabria, N5029L, piloted by Christopher Connelly, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to the Atlantic Ocean, near Fire Island, New York. The pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. A flight plan had not been filed for the flight operating under 14 CFR 91.

This was a banner towing flight that departed Brookhaven, New York, at 1245, to Asbury Park, New Jersey and return. During the return leg at 1,300 feet above the water, the pilot experienced a power loss.

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

"At 1535 I lost power. I descended to 400' [feet] and dropped banner (...If I had dropped higher there was possibility of injury from banner to people on the ground.)...wanted to land on beach...decided not to because of...number of people on the beach...I stalled aircraft just as I hit water..."

In a separate statement provided by the pilot he stated that when he experienced the partial power loss he had turned on the carburetor heat, applied full power, placed the mixture to full rich "and nothing happened."

A post accident examination of the engine was performed by A&P Aircraft Maintenance, INC., and revealed that the number four cylinder exhaust valve had broken off.

The A&P report stated:

"...part of the stem was still in the cylinder head bushing. The valve hit the top of the piston, marks are visible. The remaining stem cannot be found but the face of the valve was found in the muffler. In my opinion, this was the cause of the engine stoppage."

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