CEN09IA595
CEN09IA595

On September 20, 2009, about 1718 central daylight time, a Beech V35 airplane, N97500, experienced a complete loss of engine power while in cruise flight, and subsequently made a forced landing near, Nacogdoches, Texas. The airplane sustained minor damage and the private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. The 138-mile cross-country flight originated from the Rusk County Airport (RFI), Henderson, Texas, and was destined for the Southeast Texas Regional Airport (BPT), Beaumont, Texas.

According to the pilot, while in cruise flight the airplane's engine experienced a catastrophic failure and stopped producing power. The pilot attempted to reach the A L Mangham Jr. Regional Airport (OCH), Nacogdoches, Texas, but was unable. While performing a forced landing to a vacant parking lot the airplane's upper windscreen impacted a static wire; however, the pilot was able to land successfully.

A review of the engine logbook revealed that the engine had last been inspected in accordance with a 100 hour inspection on September 1, 2009. At the time of the accident the engine had accumulated a total time of approximately 3,188.9 hours and 1,527.9 hours since major overhaul. The last major overhaul was accomplished on June 29, 1994, and a top overhaul was performed on November 14, 2003.

An examination of the engine revealed several holes in the top side of the crankcase. Approximately 12 quarts of oil were drained from the engine sump before the engine was removed from the airframe and disassembled. The number one, three, five, and six connecting rods were in place and free to rotate on the crankshaft; however, connecting rods two and four were separated from their rod journals. The number two connecting rod cap and rod cap bearings were thermally discolored, and the two rod cap bolts were found separated. Impact signatures on the number four connecting rod were constant with a secondary failure.

The reason for the number two connecting rod cap thermal discoloration and subsequent rod failure could not be determined.

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