On June 5, 1999, about 2027 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 177RG, N1982Q, registered to an individual, crashed while attempting a forced landing following loss of engine power near Timmonsville, South Carolina, while on a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft received substantial damage and the private-rated pilot and one passenger received minor injuries. The flight originated from Cheraw, South Carolina, the same day, about 1953.

On June 14, 1999, the NTSB investigator sent an NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report Form to the pilot via facsimile machine. Receipt of the form was confirmed. The completed form was not received by NTSB.

Transcript of communications between the occupants of N1982Q and the FAA Florence Approach control showed that the flight was identified on radar at 1959:00, at a position 7 miles southwest of the Cheraw Airport. The aircraft occupants reported they were en route to Charleston, South Carolina. At 2018:28, while at an altitude of 4,500 feet, the aircraft occupants reported "we have got some engine problems we are looking for a place to land." The flight was given radar vectors toward the Timmonsville Airport, a heading of 010 degrees, at 10 miles. At 2019:47, the passenger reported to the controller that the engine was "running but it is running real slow might be fixing to shut off." At 2022:53, the passenger reported the engine had quit and they would not be able to make the Timmonsville Airport. At 2024:08, the passenger reported "there is a road off uh the interstate we are going try to make that we are at two thousand feet going down at five hundred feet a minute." At 2025:15, the passenger reported "we are going to be landing on the highway I do not think (unintelligible) dirt road because of power lines." At 2025:57, the passenger report "oh kay we have got the power lines right now." No further transmissions were received from the flight. (See Transcript of Communications.)

Postcrash examination of the crash site by an FAA inspector showed the aircraft touched down in a tobacco field, overran the field, skidded onto a road, and came to rest in a drainage ditch. Examination of the engine showed a hole in the engine case in the area of the No. 2 cylinder, and the No. 2 cylinder was separated from the engine crankcase.

Teardown examination was performed by representatives of the NTSB, FAA, and Lycoming Engines, after the aircraft was recovered from the crash site. The No. 2 cylinder was separated from the engine case and the cylinder hold down studs were broken. There was residue of a sealing material on the cylinder base and chafing marks on the crankcase half at the No. 2 cylinder attach point. The No. 1 and No. 2 connecting rods were separated from the crankshaft. There was no heat damage on the separated connecting rods or crankshaft journals. The connecting rod caps and bearings were not recovered. The No. 3 and No. 4 connecting rods were still attached to the crankshaft, but the rods had heat damage and the bearings and crankshaft journals at the these rods had heat damage. The crankshaft, camshaft, and accessory drives had continuity. The engine oil pump had no anomalies and about 1 quart of oil was still in the oil pan along with metal debris. The oil cooler lines were unobstructed and had no leaks. The torque on the remaining cylinder hold down studs were found to be higher or lower than Lycoming Engines specifications. The magnetos , spark plugs, and engine fuel system were examined and no anomalies were found.

The engine was disassembled and the crankcase mating surfaces showed signs of fretting. The oil passages within the crankcase and crankshaft were unobstructed. The Nos. 1, 3, and 4 cylinders also had residue of a sealing material on the base mating surfaces with the crankcase. Lycoming Engines does not recommend use of sealants under cylinder bases during assembly, the mating surfaces should be dry and clean. (See Lycoming Engines Report.)

Logbook records show the engine received a major overhaul on June 16, 1987, 1,257 flight hours before the accident. The engine was last inspected on April 9, 1999, 64 flight hours before the accident. No entries in the logbook show removal of the cylinders after the 1987 overhauls. See Aircraft Logbook Records.

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