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N341MA accident description

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Crash location 36.410000°N, 83.555278°W
Nearest city Tazewell, TN
36.454250°N, 83.569352°W
3.2 miles away
Tail number N341MA
Accident date 05 Jun 2005
Aircraft type Piper PA-32R-301T
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 5, 2005 at 2212 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-32R-301T, N341MA lost engine power and collided with a tree, truck and mobile home while attempting an emergency landing in Tazewell, Tennessee. The flight operated under provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a flight plan was filed under visual flight rules. The pilot was seriously injured. The aircraft sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Asheville Regional Airport in Asheville, North Carolina on June 5, 2005 at an undetermined time.

The flight was en route to Cincinnati Municipal Airport Lunken Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, when at 2130, the pilot informed Indianapolis Center Air Traffic Controller that he was having an emergency. The pilot then told the Controller that the airplane engine had lost power. The Controller provided information about nearby airports, but the pilot stated that he could not locate any of the airports. Another airplane in the vicinity tried to assist in visually locating a nearby airport, but was also unsuccessful. The pilot maneuvered for an emergency landing and the airplane collided with a tree, pickup truck and a mobile home.

Examination of the aircraft revealed both wings detached, the propeller and engine cowling separated from the airplane, and the firewall buckled. The nose of the airplane was crushed and all three blades of the propeller were bent. Oil was across the belly of the fuselage and no oil was recovered from the engine. The fuel tanks were breached, but fuel was found in the fuel bowl and the fuel servo. The engine's turbocharger turbine wheel was separated and not located.

The turbocharger was recovered and taken to Kelly Aerospace Power Systems, Inc. in Fort Deposit, Alabama for a teardown inspection. The turbocharger was torn down and revealed that there was no evidence of oil leakage from the turbocharger assembly. The turbocharger was originally manufactured in March 1998 and had been subsequently overhauled in the field by a repair facility and reinstalled on June 3, 2005.

Further examination disclosed that the turbocharger oil drain tank was missing and not located; the mounting flange remained attached to the turbocharger. The oil return line threads (at the turbo oil drain tank) were not damaged. The turbine housing at the turbo oil drain tank attachment area was discolored. The turbocharger center section oil supply line check valve was field tested by applying 30-inches of air pressure and was operational.

Additional examination revealed that both magnetos were rotated and produced ignition sparks, the oil pan had loose metal particles and no oil was observed in the tail pipe. The generator pump gear teeth in the oil scavenger pump were all damaged and metal particles were found in the oil filter.

The digital display monitor in the airplane was recovered and sent out to Horizon Aerospace (Flightline Systems, Inc.) in Victor, New York for a recorded read-out of the data. Once powered up, the display showed the correct date and was one hour and ten minutes ahead of the current time. The recorded exceedances were recalled and found the following:

(1) the total known exceedances were 314,

(2) the majority of exceedances were turbine inlet temperature,

(3) the last nine exceedances were on the day of the accident over a period of 7 hours

(4) and the type of exceedances on June 5, 2005 were:

-right fuel quantity low

-left fuel quantity low

-turbine inlet temperature (listed twice in succession)

-low oil pressure (listed five times in succession)

NTSB Probable Cause

The inadequate installation of the turbocharger by other maintenance personnel which resulted in oil starvation.

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