On January 26, 2003, at 1310 eastern standard time, a Luscombe 8F, N1484B, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to the Newport Sky Park (ME68), Newport, Maine, after experiencing a total loss of power in cruise flight. The certificated commercial pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, the flight had departed from the Wiscasset Airport, Wiscasset Maine, about 1100, destined for ME68. Upon arriving near the ME68 airport, at 2,000 feet, the engine lost total power. The cabin of the airplane began to fill with smoke, and the pilot performed a forced landing to the airport. During the descent, the airplane struck trees and impacted a snow bank, before coming to rest upright.

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector after the accident revealed substantial damage to the left and right wings, and the empennage section. The inspector also noted a hole along the outer wall of the number one cylinder barrel.

The number one cylinder was forwarded to the Safety Board Materials Lab for examination. The lab noted that the fracture was in the cylinder barrel between the 3rd and 6th cooling fins from the mounting flange. Major portions of the fracture contained fatigue features that initiated from the radius between the 3rd and 4th fins approximately in line with the exhaust valve. There was no evidence of defects at the origin area of the fatigue cracking.

The overhauled engine was installed in the airplane in 1995. During the overhaul, 4 new cylinders and valve assemblies were installed on the engine. The most recent annual inspection of the engine was conducted on March 15, 2002.

The number one cylinder had accumulated about 530 hours of total operation.

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