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Squawks & HeadlinesAirplane Connecting Rod Crashes Through Roof

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Airplane Connecting Rod Crashes Through Roof

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“We got to around 1,500 feet and we heard a loud bang and the plane started shaking,” said Rick Eason, faculty adviser for the University Flying Club in Orono, who took off with the pilot at around 7:25 p.m. After the two made a safe emergency landing at Bangor International Airport, Eason said he was soon contacted by the airport’s control tower, “and they asked if I lost something from my plane.” As Eason soon figured out by comparing data from his GPS device with the time of the incident, as… (bangordailynews.com) More...

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onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
Well I'll say that engine is probably junk now if the pin went through the side of the engine....if it went through the oil pan they might be able to safe it depending on the internal damage.
PLANESOLUTIONS
PLANESOLUTIONS 1
The headline says "connecting rod", the text in the article refers and photos a "wrist pin". Big difference in mass.
pmd603
Phil Day 1
The problem was it was a six cylinder continental engine in an old P.O.S. 172. Those old Continental engines just shake they're way to overhaul. Lucky the engine didn't seize up
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
This came from A General Aviation A/C. Too small to be anything larger.
ansonj
ansonj 1
I was at 10,500 when my engine gave up ( twin Commander 500 Shrike) and after I landed at an airport I found a rod insert laying in the cowling. These are not supposed to be laying around outside the engine!!! Lycoming's come apart too. I had about 5 seconds to feather the prop and cutoff the fuel before it seized.
R123154
R123154 1
They were lucky for sure.The worst engine failure I ever seen was from a baron that shed 3 cylinder heads at once.Funny thing was the pistons were still connected to the rods and laying on the block.Never found out what caused such a failure but I did notice a lack of oil present.Duh,I believe that is why they have dipsticks.Being a line guy in GA for 20 years every plane I serviced I would check the oil asked or not and you would be surprised how often I found really low levels.
kdhurne
Ken Hurne 1
Question is, did the student pilot pass the checkout? Forget practicing engine failure in flight, let's have a real one.

Glad no one was hurt.
preacher1
preacher1 2
I'd say you are probably right. what is amazing that the engine apparently kept running and they were able to land without having to deadstick.lol.
preacher1
preacher1 2
I think they finally settled on a wrist pin. Either way it will make a mell of a hess with an engine.lol
delmonaco03
Yeah when they posted it they said connecting rod but after they posted pictures it surely wasn't what they said. Either way it's not exactly something to have happen mid flight!
PLANESOLUTIONS
PLANESOLUTIONS 1
Guessing that the head let go due to some internal issue, piston came free and the wrist pin escaped out the side of the piston. The 3 cyl C172 then continued and landed with a 25%+ power reduction.
preacher1
preacher1 1
You are probaly correct in that I can't see another way for a wrist pin to escape basically intact but I think you are being kind with a 25%+ power reduction.lol It just don't seem like it was a real big deal to him though. He's either a super cool CFI or totally carefree. At least they got it to the ground.lol
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
From years of auto racing failure analysis experience, an ejected wrist pin is almost always from a piston failure. On a highly undersquare (small bore / long strokw engine like this the small end of the rod can bounce up and down for a while without poking holes in the cylinder wall. Especially in an air cooled engine with no water jackets.
Not a fun thing to have happen in any event. Good job by the PIC.
Foxtrot789
It's more than 25%, those 'still working' pistons are having to not only move the crank shaft for it's normal duty, they're also having to spend energy moving the remaining parts of the dead cylinder that once was doing the work itself.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
Root cause is usually prolonged detonation. Pinch a ring land lose combustion seal, burn away the area above the pin boss and..... boom.