On September 19, 2010, about 1230 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28R-200, N799SQ, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain during a forced landing, following a total loss of engine power during initial climb. The certificated private pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight which departed from Barnwell Regional Airport (BNL), Barnwell, South Carolina, destined for Twin City Airport (5J9), Loris, South Carolina. No flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, on the day of the accident he and his passenger had flown into BNL from Ocean Springs Airport (5R2), Ocean Springs, Mississippi. After fueling and checking the oil quantity, they departed for 5J9. At approximately 1,000 feet above mean sea level the airplane began to "make a load banging noise" and began to shake "violently." The pilot then looked at the oil pressure gauge and noticed that there was "no pressure." The pilot then attempted to turn back to the airport but realized that he would be unable to reach it. He observed that there was a small field to his left so he "chose to put the plane down." There were a few small trees in the center of the field and he "tried to clear them" but, was unable to do so. The airplane struck the trees, and the wings separated from the fuselage. The airplane then impacted the ground, the landing gear separated from the airplane, and the airplane slid to a stop on its belly.


According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine-land and multi-engine-land. His most recent application for a FAA third-class medical certificate was on January 7, 2009. He reported 540 total hours of flight experience.


According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and maintenance records the airplane was manufactured in 1975 and was powered by a Lycoming IO-360-C1C engine. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on June 4, 2010. At the time of the inspection, it had accumulated 4,583.4 total hours of operation.


A weather observation taken about 5 minutes after the accident included; wind at 040 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, a few clouds at 3,600 feet, temperature 29 degrees C, Dew point 18 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.13 inches of mercury.


A cursory examination of the airplane accident site by the FAA revealed that after striking trees the fuselage came to rest in an upright attitude 25 to 50 yards from where the wings had separated from their mounting locations. No attempt was made by the FAA to examine the engine.

At the request of the NTSB, the engine was examined by an FAA certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic. During the examination it was revealed that oil was present in the engine and the oil pump was functional. Further examination revealed the presence of metal fragments in the oil. These metal fragments when cleaned were determined to be the remains of the No. 1 connecting rod bolts, and a portion of the No. 1 connecting rod end cap.


Review of aircraft records revealed that the airplane had been brought in to the country from Canada in 2001. At the time the engine had already accrued 993.1 hours of operation since its last overhaul.

At the time of the last annual inspection, the engine had accrued 2,079.1 hours of operation which was 79.1 hours greater than the engine manufacturer's recommended time between overhauls (TBO).


According to Lycoming Service Instruction No.1009AU, which provides guidance regarding TBO, the TBO can be established on engines that incorporate Lycoming parts only, and are not applicable if the engine contains parts other than those supplied by Lycoming.

Service experience, variations in operating conditions, and frequency of operation are some of the factors taken into consideration when a TBO is established. Because of variations in the manner in which engines are operated and maintained, Lycoming can give no assurance that any individual operator will achieve the recommended TBO.

Additionally, Lycoming advises that continuous service assumes that the aircraft will not be out of service for any extended period of time. Engine deterioration in the form of corrosion (rust) and the drying out and hardening of composition materials such as gaskets, seals, flexible hoses and fuel pump diaphragms can occur if an engine is out of service for an extended period of time. Due to the loss of a protective oil film after an extended period of inactivity, abnormal wear on soft metal bearing surfaces can also occur during engine start.

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