Large Hole Was Noted On The Top Of The Engine Crankcase, And The Numbers 5 And 6 Connecting Rods Were Missing

Location: Arden Hills, MN Accident Number: CEN21LA073
Date & Time: December 2, 2020, 21:15 Local Registration: N28067
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30A Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On December 2, 2020, about 2115 central standard time, a Bellanca 17-30A, N28067, was substantially damage when it was involved in an accident near Arden Hills, Minnesota. The pilot and passenger and an occupant of the motor vehicle were not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot said this was to be a night sightseeing flight around the city. About 10 minutes after takeoff, he heard a loud “bang” and the engine began to vibrate. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost power completely. The pilot made a gear-down forced landing on an Interstate highway. During the landing roll, the airplane struck a vehicle and highway divider. Post-accident examination revealed both wings were bent. A large hole was noted on the top of the engine crankcase, and the numbers 5 and 6 connecting rods were missing.

The wreckage was recovered, and the engine was examined. When the oil pan was removed, a large amount of metal debris was noted. The oil filter also contained metal chips and filings. These pieces will be retained for further examination and tests.