DEN01LA107
DEN01LA107

On May 31, 2001, at 2034 mountain daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-180, N3708T, registered to and operated by the pilot, was destroyed when it collided with a power line during a forced landing 2 miles south of the Albuquerque International Sunport, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The private pilot, the sole occupant aboard, received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed for the personal flight being conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated approximately 2030.

After the airplane took off from runway 21 and climbed to an altitude of 200 feet, the pilot heard "a single loud pop." He reported the situation to control tower personnel, advised he was returning for landing, and was cleared to land on any runway. The engine continued to develop some power but not enough for the airplane to return to the airport. The pilot deployed full flaps, lowered the landing gear, and slowed to "the low 50's IAS" (indicated airspeed). The pilot said "dusk hampered visibility somewhat," and he didn't see power lines ahead until it was too late. At this point, "engine power failed totally." The right wing struck the power line and was torn off and the airplane impacted a mesa. FAA inspectors went to the scene and reported the number 1 (right front, as viewed from the cockpit) cylinder head had separated from the cylinder barrel.

The engine, a Lycoming IO-360-B1E (s/n RL-4997-51A) had accumulated 1,933.15 hours total time when, on March 21, 1988, it was given a "certified overhaul to new engine tolerances zero-time equivalent" by Pacific Continental Engines, Inc., in Van Nuys, California. It was installed in N3708T on April 5, 1988. According to the engine logbook, all of the cylinders were removed on June 15, 1990, and the camshaft lobes and lifter faces were visually inspected for premature wear and galling. No unusual wear was noted. Thereafter, only routine maintenance was recorded. At the time of the accident, the engine had accrued 1,585.04 hours since overhaul.

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