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N2837R accident description

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Crash location 43.260000°N, 83.660000°W
Nearest city Frankenmuth, MI
43.331691°N, 83.738019°W
6.3 miles away
Tail number N2837R
Accident date 27 Feb 2015
Aircraft type Piper Pa 28R-200
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On February 27, 2015, about 1419 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28R-200 airplane, N2837R, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Frankenmuth, Michigan. The pilot and passenger were not injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, with no flight plan filed. The out-and-back flight to Flint, Michigan, originated from the Saginaw County Airport (HYX), Saginaw, Michigan, about 1300.

During departure climb from Bishop International Airport (FNT), Flint, Michigan, the pilot noticed the engine hesitate for one or two seconds and then recover to normal operation. The pilot continued the climb and proceeded towards HYX. Approaching HYX, the engine started to make abnormal noises, followed by a total loss of power. The pilot executed a forced landing into a snow-covered field, during which both wings were damaged.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) personnel responded to the accident site and measured engine oil quantity at two quarts on the dipstick. A subsequent FAA teardown examination of the engine revealed a failure of all four piston connecting rods, with heat-related damage to all four cylinders. Engine failure signatures were consistent with a lack of lubrication. No visible oil loss or indication of excess oil consumption was observed at the accident site or during the teardown examination.

The last engine oil change occurred on October 20, 2014. Following this oil change, seven flights totaling 12.8 hours were recorded prior to the accident flight. Records indicated that no oil was added prior to or after these flights.

When interviewed by the FAA, the pilot stated that he noted slightly less than 8 quarts of oil during the preflight for the accident flight. The pilot stated that his habit was to check the engine oil temperature and pressure instruments during warm up and the pre-takeoff run up, but not during flight.

NTSB Probable Cause

The failure of the engine due to a lack of oil lubrication for reasons that could not be determined during postaccident examinations.

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