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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: WPR15LA230
14 CFR Part 137: Agricultural
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 04, 2015 in Princeton, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/2015
Aircraft: GRUMMAN G164 - B, registration: N48452
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, during the agricultural spray run, the engine lost power. The airplane was unable to maintain altitude, so the pilot made a forced landing to a rice field. After touchdown, the airplane nosed over, which resulted in substantial damage to the rudder.
A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the No. 2 cylinder head had cracked and lifted under the cooling fins on the cylinder’s left side. The crack continued across the top and inside of the head to the intake valve seat, which would have allowed hot gases to enter the induction system and resulted in the subsequent loss of power. A review of the airplane’s maintenance records revealed that a mandatory 100-hour repetitive visual inspection of the cylinder had been performed 66.7 flight hours before the accident flight.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The loss of engine power during an agricultural application flight due to a cylinder failure.