This February 2008 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: Cessna 182. Injuries: None. Location: San Antonio, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The flight instructor and a student pilot had just lifted off on a night flight. As the aircraft was climbing through 1,700 feet MSL they began to smell something burning. This was followed by a rough running engine and a sudden loss of power. The flight instructor took control of the aircraft. Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful. The instructor made a forced landing in a field. A witness who observed the airplane while airborne said he saw flames coming from the engine compartment.
Examination of the engine cowling revealed there was a localized area of paint discoloration and blistering in the area where the turbocharger was located. Further examination revealed that the turbocharger exhaust stack had separated at an area where it had been welded. A review of the engine logbooks revealed there was no entry made regarding a weld in this area, so it could not be determined who or when the weld was made.
Probable cause: Separation of the turbocharger exhaust stack, which resulted in a loss of engine power.
For more information: NTSB.gov