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The aircraft was cruising normally at 7000 feet when the engine failed without warning. The pilot carried out checks and attempted to restart the engine without success. During the ensuing forced landing the pilot prematurely turned off the master switch, therefore, the wheels did not extend when he selected gear down. The engine failure was caused by the separation of crankshaft idler gear teeth due to high cycle low stress fatigue which had initiated from pre-existing overload cracks at the base of the teeth.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 12 January 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1540  
Location:St George Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 16 March 1989  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-24 
Aircraft registration: VH-COM 
Serial number: 24-97 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:"Lea Wah" (Near Bollon) QLD
Departure time:1516
Destination:Toowoomba QLD
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