Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Powerplant System / Component Malfunction / Failure: Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six, N4592X; accident occurred September 28, 2018 near Bartow Municipal Airport (KBOW), Polk County, Florida

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Orlando, Florida

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms


Location: Bartow, FL
Accident Number: ERA18LA265
Date & Time: 09/28/2018, 1325 EDT
Registration: N4592X
Aircraft: Piper PA32
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Powerplant sys/comp malf/fail
Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 28, 2018, about 1325 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32-300, N4592X, operated by the private pilot, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a marsh, following a total loss of engine power during cruise flight near Bartow, Florida. The private pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for planned flight to Tampa Executive Airport (VDF), Tampa, Florida. The flight originated from Boca Raton Airport (BCT), Boca Raton, Florida, about 1230.

The pilot reported that during cruise flight, the engine began to run rough. He notified air traffic control (ATC) and declared an emergency. Shortly thereafter, the engine cowling separated and the pilot observed that a cylinder had separated as oil began to cover the windscreen. Although ATC provided vectors to the nearest airport, the pilot could not see due to the oil, and flew via the instruments to the ground.

Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that during the landing in a marsh, the right wing contacted a tree and separated. The inspector also observed that the No. 3 cylinder had separated. Further examination of the engine following recovery revealed impact marks on the engine crankcase where the No. 3 cylinder secured to it. The marks were consistent with the cylinder impacting the case multiple times. The examination also revealed that several of the other cylinder nuts were below the required 50 ft/lbs of torque.

The six-seat, low-wing, fixed-tricycle-gear airplane was manufactured in 1975. It was powered by a Lycoming IO-540, 300-horsepower engine, equipped with a constant-speed, two-blade Hartzell propeller. Review of maintenance records revealed that the engine's most recent overhaul was completed on November 14, 2006. The airplane's most recent annual inspection was completed on March 16, 2018. At the time, the engine had accrued 353.58 hours since the overhaul. There was no record of any cylinder removal or replacement since the engine overhaul. The airplane had flown about 13 additional hours from the time of the most recent annual inspection, until the accident. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 70, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: BasicMed
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/08/2017
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 09/28/2017
Flight Time:  465 hours (Total, all aircraft), 382 hours (Total, this make and model), 465 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 7 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N4592X
Model/Series: PA32 300
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1975
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 32-7640039
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 6
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 03/16/2018, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3400 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 13 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 4047 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: IO-540-K1A5
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 300 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: BOW, 125 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1356 EDT
Direction from Accident Site: 90°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 3000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):  
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 110°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.07 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 32°C / 22°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Boca Raton, FL (BCT)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Tampa, FL (VDF)
Type of Clearance: IFR
Departure Time: 1230 EDT
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  27.937222, -81.855556 (est)

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