Corrosion blamed for crash

This February 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee Six.
Location: Pellston, Mich.
Injuries: 2 Serious, 2 Minor.
Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The airplane was on an instrument night flight when the engine failed. The pilot turned toward the nearest airport but didn’t have enough altitude to reach it by gliding, and came down in a wooded area.

The post-accident investigation determined that the engine lost power because one of the engine cylinders failed due to fatigue caused by corrosion. The corrosion was not visible to the naked eye because it had been painted over with gray paint.

Probable cause: The fatigue failure of the engine cylinder, which resulted in a complete loss of engine power.

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