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.
|Date:||12 January 1988||Investigation status:||Completed|
|Release date:||16 March 1989||Occurrence category:||Accident|
|Report status:||Final||Highest injury level:||None|
|Aircraft manufacturer||Piper Aircraft Corp|
|Type of operation||Private|
|Damage to aircraft||Substantial|
|Departure point||"Lea Wah" (Near Bollon) QLD|