Poor maintenance leads to off-airport landing

This May 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Piper Cherokee Six Injuries: None. Location: Alpine, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The pilot reported that the pre-takeoff run-up was normal, however, on the takeoff roll he noted an increase in the EGT, which was reading 1450° instead of the usual 1400°.

He increased mixture to lower the temperature. The engine operations seemed to normalize until he became airborne and the engine lost power. The EGT was still high at 1440°. The pilot attempted to land on the remaining stretch of runway. There was not enough room for him to bring the airplane to a stop. The Piper ran off the runway and hit a fence.

Examination of the engine revealed that the flexible hose and two clamps that connect the intercooler to the turbocharger inlet were not installed properly, which caused the flexible hose to slide out of position. The engine had been overhauled in 2007 and installed back on the airplane using the same propeller and accessories. There were no entries between the time the engine was installed to the date of the accident that indicated that either the turbocharger or the intercooler had been worked on. The last annual inspection was performed exactly one year before the accident.

Probable cause: Improper installation of the flexible hose and two clamps that connect the intercooler to the turbocharger.

For more information: NTSB.gov. NTSB Identification: CEN10LA259



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