Friday, September 30, 2022

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

WARRANTY:  There is no warranty, express or implied for the information provided herein or the condition, useability, workability, operability or marketability of the aircraft salvage.  All times are approximate and the logbooks and aircraft should be inspected by each bidder BEFORE BIDDING.  Failure of the bidder to view the salvage or wreckage, or confirm any information provided is NOT grounds for a claim or withdrawal of bid after bid closing date. All Sales Are FINAL. 

HOURS estimated from logbooks or other information - not guaranteed or warranted

AIRCRAFT:   1976 Piper PA-32-300 Cherokee Six N4592X s/n: 32-7640039

TTAF: 4,060.60, Hobbs 1,183.0. 

The last Annual Inspection was performed on 03/16/2018 at Tach Time 4,047.28. 

ENGINE:   Lycoming IO-540-K1A5, s/n: L-8234-48

TTE: 4,060.60. 

The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 03/16/2018 at TSOH 353.58, TACH 4,047.28.                            

PROPELLER:   Hartzell HC-C2YR-1BF, s/n: 16235

TTP:  4060.60.  The last Annual Inspection was accomplished on 03/16/2018 at TTP 4,047.28 and PTSOH: 838.84.                           


Bendix/ King, KX 155 NAV/COM - (stored inside)

KMA 44, AUDIO/Marker Beacon with HF (stored inside)

Garmin GNS 430 - (stored inside)

Bendix King KN64

Garmin GTX330

Garmin 796 (stored inside)

GLD 39 ADSB/GPS (stored inside)

DESCRIPTION OF ACCIDENT:  On 09/28/18, N4592X had an in-flight engine failure and subsequent landing in a swamp near Bartow, Florida.

Click here for NTSB Engine Inspection Report and NTSB Factual                                                 
DESCRIPTION OF DAMAGES:  The damage includes but may not be limited to the following: 

The right wing is torn off;
The left wing was badly damaged and bent in several areas;
The main gear is damaged;
The avionics may have water damage as the aircraft sat in the swamp for 5+ days;
Firewall forward is substantially damaged including the cowling;
The nose gear is torn off;
The propeller is damaged;
The engine had a catastrophic failure;
The fuselage belly and sides have dents, wrinkles and buckles throughout.

LOCATION OF AIRCRAFT:  Florida Air Recovery, Jacksonville, Florida 

Insurer reserves the right to reject any and all bids. 

Salvage is as is/where is. 

The posting information is the best to our knowledge. 

Logbooks may not be complete.

Disassembled for recovery.

Aircraft has been stored outside since 2018.

Read more here:

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Additional Participating Entity:

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

Investigator In Charge (IIC): Gretz, Robert

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

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Bartow, Florida 
Accident Number: ERA18LA265
Date and Time: September 28, 2018, 13:25 Local
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


The private pilot reported that during cruise flight, the engine began to run roughly. The No. 3 cylinder then separated from the airplane; the engine lost all power, and oil began to cover the windshield. The pilot flew via instruments and landed in a marsh; the right wing of the airplane separated after contacting a tree. Postaccident engine examination revealed impact marks on the engine crankcase where the No. 3 cylinder would have been secured. The marks were consistent with the cylinder impacting the case multiple times. The examination also revealed that several of the nuts on other cylinders were well below the required 50 ft-lbs of torque. The engine's most recent overhaul was completed about 12 years before the accident, and the engine had accrued about 366 hours since that overhaul; there was no record of cylinder removal or replacement since the engine overhaul. It is likely that undertorqued cylinder nuts allowed the cylinder to come loose and separate from the engine. The investigation could not determine if the undertorqued condition of the cylinder nuts was the result of an improper overhaul or possible improper undocumented maintenance after the overhaul.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A total loss of engine power after the separation of the No. 3 cylinder from the crankcase due to improper maintenance.

Factual Information 

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)


  1. Wonder if cylinder head bolts are required to be re-torqued on each annual. Last overhaul was 2006 . Several other cylinders were checked with turquoise below 50 .

    Pilot did good job landing.

    1. Can’t say I’ve ever seen a checklist with checking torque other than looking for it backing off or cracks, I have seen a few hold down nuts cracked