On September 16, 2004, about 1848 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-22-108, N4647Z, registered to and operated by the student pilot, collided with trees and the ground following a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from Inverness, Florida. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The student pilot reported no injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The local flight departed Inverness, Florida, about 1846 on September 16, 2004.

The student pilot stated he departed the airport to the south. He stated that, during climbout about 300 feet above the ground, the airplane's engine lost power down to 2000 rpm, and audibly "lost a cylinder." He stated the EGT showed very hot on the No. 3 cylinder. He stated he verified the mixture was at full rich, and he reduced throttle a little, but the EGT did not improve. He stated he returned to full throttle and "almost immediately, the engine stopped hard, 1800 rpm to 0 rpm in 1 - 2 seconds" and shook the airframe "heavily." He stated he glided the airplane toward a dirt road, and the airplane collided with trees about 50 feet short of the road and came to rest on the ground about 20 feet from the road.

Examination of the airplane revealed damage to the wings, wing struts, landing gear, and horizontal stabilizer. Fuel was observed leaking from the wing tanks. Examination of the engine revealed compression developed on all four cylinders when the crankshaft was rotated at the propeller flange. Valve train continuity was observed, and both magnetos produced spark on all towers. The air intake box displayed crush damage. The lower engine cowling was removed, and the carburetor was found separated from the intake manifold. The manifold mount studs displayed chafing, one manifold mount stud was bent. One mounting nut and two flat washers were found in the cowling, and the other mounting nuts were not located.

Examination of the maintenance records for the airplane revealed an annual inspection was completed on March 24, 2004. The engine had accumulated 46.4 hours since inspection, and the owner stated he did not know who last handled the carburetor. At the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated 655.9 hours since major overhaul; the engine overhaul was completed June 11, 1977. According to Lycoming Service Instruction 1009AR, the recommended time between overhaul periods (TBO) for the O-235-C1B engine is 2400 hours, or, "in the twelfth year," whichever occurs first.

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