Aviation safety investigations & reports

Piper PA28-140, VH-WKE, Lennox Head NSW, 2 February 1986

Investigation number:
Status: Completed
Investigation completed


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While the aircraft was cruising at 2000 feet above mean sea level the engine commenced to run roughly. Trouble checks failed to determine the source of rough running and the pilot elected to land at an enroute aerodrome. However before reaching this strip, the engine lost power completely and the pilot was committed to a forced landing. Because of crowds at an adjacent beach, the pilot attempted to land on a road. Touchdown was further along the road than expected because of a strong tailwind component, and the aircraft collided with a kerb before coming to rest. Investigation revealed that nuts on the various bolts and studs securing the number 3 cylinder to the crankcase had evidently not been correctly tightened. Five of the eight mounting studs/bolts had failed from fatigue during normal operations, finally allowing the cylinder to become loose. The engine had completed 83 hours time in service since an overhaul. There was no logbook record to show whether the particular cylinder had been removed or replaced since that overhaul.

Download Final Report
[Download  PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 02 February 1986   Investigation status: Completed  
Time: 925    
Location: Lennox Head    
State: New South Wales    
Release date: 16 January 1987   Occurrence category: Accident  
Report status: Final   Highest injury level: None  

Aircraft details

Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer Piper Aircraft Corp  
Aircraft model PA-28  
Aircraft registration VH-WKE  
Type of operation Private  
Damage to aircraft Substantial  
Departure point Port Macquarie NSW  
Departure time 0925  
Destination Coolangatta QLD