On June 23, 2001, at 1155 central daylight time, a Cessna 182Q single engine airplane, N4834N, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during the initial takeoff climb from the David Wayne Hooks Memorial Airport, Houston, Texas. The airplane was registered to and operated by Southwestern Gas Pipeline Inc., of The Woodlands, Texas. The airline transport pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 maintenance test flight. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, who also holds an FAA airframe and power plant mechanic certificate, he and another individual completed Teledyne Continental Motors (TCM) Service Information Directive (SID) 97-3 (adjustment of the fuel flow injection system), and then did a "complete engine run up." The pilot then taxied to runway 17L for a test flight. The flight departed and while the airplane was climbing through 300 feet agl, the engine "quit." The pilot stated that he turned the fuel selector to the OFF position and executed a forced landing adjacent to the airport. During the forced landing, the airplane contacted trees and the ground, and came to rest upright. The pilot reported that the nose landing gear and right main landing gear assemblies separated from the airframe, and the engine firewall was damaged.

According to witnesses, the airplane departed from runway 17L and was climbing through 300 feet when the engine "failed." The airplane was observed making a "steep" 180-degree turn to the right back toward the airport when the right wing dropped, and the airplane entered a nose low attitude and impacted the ground.

On August 7, 2001, the TCM IO-470-F33 engine was placed in a test stand, test run, and examined under supervision of the NTSB Investigator-In-Charge. The engine was test run for seven minutes and operated at idle, cruise, and maximum power settings. A magneto check was performed at 1,800 rpm, which resulted in a left magneto drop of 175 rpm and a right magneto drop of 150 rpm. No anomalies were noted during the test run. Following the engine test run a differential compression check of the cylinders was performed and the following results were noted: #1 75/80, #2 68/80, #3 70/80, #4 79/80, #5 72/80 and #6 73/80. The fuel manifold was disassembled, it appeared intact and its fuel screen was clear, and it was then reassembled. The main fuel screen in the fuel metering unit was removed and a small amount of debris was observed. The fuel metering unit, fuel manifold, and fuel pump were sent to the TCM facility in Mobile, Alabama, for further testing, under supervision of an FAA supervisor. The fuel metering unit, fuel manifold, and fuel pump were flow tested and according to TCM "all components flowed at or near TCM specifications."

According to the engine logbook, on November 19, 2000, the engine was overhauled at the TCM Factory and was installed in the airplane on January 26, 2001. At the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated 94.6 hours since major overhaul.

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