On October 16, 2004, at 1315 central daylight time, a Cessna T210N, single-engine airplane, N11FB, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a reported loss of engine power near Seven Points, Texas. The instrument rated private pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from Lancaster Airport, near Lancaster, Texas, approximately 1300, and was destined for Athens Municipal Airport, near Athens, Texas.

The 3,500-hour pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that during cruise flight at 3,500 feet mean sea level (msl), "the engine lost power." Subsequently, the pilot initiated a forced landing to an open field. During the landing roll, the right horizontal stabilizer struck a bale of hay.

Examination of the airplane by an Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, who responded to the accident site, revealed the outboard leading edge of the right horizontal stabilizer was bent, and the right elevator was partially separated from its mounting attachment. The empennage was bent to the left approximately 10 degrees.

A review of the airplane maintenance records revealed the airplane underwent its most recent annual inspection on July 8, 2004, at an aircraft total time of 2,882.5 hours and engine total time of 1,155.3 hours since major overhaul. The Continental TSIO-520-R (9) engine underwent a "top" overhaul on May 18, 2004, at an engine total time of 880.1 hours since major overhaul. At the time of the accident, the aircraft and engine had accumulated 329.8 hours since the top overhaul was performed, at an engine total time of 1,209.9 hours.

The engine was examined on November 1, 2004, at the facilities of Air Salvage of Dallas, near Lancaster, Texas, by a representative from Teledyne Continental Motors, under the supervision of the NTSB investigator-in-charge. The examination revealed that the #1 connecting rod was separated from the rod journal into six pieces. The rod cap bearing was oil covered and did not display any signs of heat distress.

The cam shaft was separated forward of the #1 cam lobe. The fracture was consistent with overload. The top spark plugs were removed and examined. When compared to the Champion Aviation Check-A-Plug Chart, all spark plugs displayed signatures consistent with normal operation. When rotated by hand, the left and right magneto produced a spark on all leads. The remaining portions of the #1 connecting rod were sent to the Office of Research and Engineering, Materials Laboratory Division in Washington, D.C. for further examination.

Examination of the #1 connecting rod by the Office of Research and Engineering, Materials Laboratory Division in Washington, D.C., revealed a fatigue fracture was located where the connecting rod and connecting rod cap attach.

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