On July 10, 2000, about 1030 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172L, N3875Q, registered to a private individual, collided with a fence during a forced landing at the Micheal J. Smith Field Airport, Beaufort, North Carolina. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 maintenance test flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the commercial-rated pilot and one passenger were not injured. The flight was originating at the time of the occurrence. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated that she was asked to fly the airplane on a 30-minute test flight prior to returning the airplane to the owner following repairs. The passenger was the Director of Maintenance (DOM) for the facility that had performed the repairs, which included disassembly and overhaul of the engine following a propeller strike which occurred on March 10, 2000. The pilot further reported that no discrepancies were noted during the engine run-up, and all engine instruments were indicating in the green arcs after applying full power to takeoff. While climbing about 100 feet above ground level (agl), the "entire aircraft began to shake violently and the power dropped to 1,000 rpm. The rpm then advanced slightly to 1,400 rpm, and dropped off as the engine quit." She landed the airplane with only 180 feet remaining on the departure runway and applied heavy brakes. The airplane departed the end of the runway, rolled onto wet grass, and unable to stop the airplane, collided with a chain link fence.
The pilot and the DOM notified the Greensboro FAA Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) within approximately 1.5 - 2.0 hours from the time of the accident. FAA FSDO personnel made the determination based on the described damage that the airplane sustained minor damage. FAA personnel also informed the DOM of the facility that had overhauled the engine to photograph it and to disassemble the damaged engine taking photographs during various stages of disassembly. The engine was disassembled per the instructions from the FAA without government oversight, before NTSB notification. Following NTSB notification, arrangements were made with a local airframe and powerplant mechanic with inspection authorization (IA) to inspect the airplane and report his findings. The inspection revealed damage to two leading edge ribs in the right wing and to one leading edge rib in the left wing. The NTSB classified the occurrence as an accident. A copy of the statement from the IA is an attachment to this report.
According to the DOM, the No. 4 cylinder connecting rod bolts were fractured, and the connecting rod cap was straight. The camshaft was fractured, and a connecting rod bearing was found in the oil sump. Review of digital photographs taken by the IA who inspected the airplane revealed the No. 4 cylinder skirt was damaged; crankcase material was missing beneath the No. 4 cylinder area. Due to the lack of government oversight during the examination of the failed engine, no components of the engine were examined or retained.
Review of the maintenance records revealed an entry dated July 5, 2000, indicates that the engine was overhauled "...per Lycoming Overhaul Manual (60294-7)." The entry also indicates that the engine was test run, and "All pressures and temps [sic] within manufacturer specifications...." A copy of the maintenance record entry is an attachment to this report.