Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

Belen, New Mexico 87002
Sunday, March 12, 2000 16:30 MST

NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident

The pilot received his private pilot's license earlier that morning and was taking his brother for a ride. He said that shortly after he lifted off from an abandoned 800-foot airstrip (elevation unknown, but an airport 7 miles southeast of the accident site is at 5,194 feet msl) but using a short-field takeoff technique (full flaps), the engine began to lose power, dropping about 500 to 700 rpm (revolutions per minute). When he leveled off to maintain airspeed, the engine 'shut down completely.' Because flaps were still extended and airspeed in the flare was low, the airplane 'kept coming down.' A hard landing ensued, shearing off the landing gear and bending the engine mounts and propeller. The mixture control was found in the FULL RICH position. There was a tail wheel strike mark in the dirt 168 feet from the runway threshold. Just beyond were two dirt berms that had been struck by the airplane's main landing gear. The engine was partially disassembled. The no. 2 cylinder compression ratio was 45/80, due to exhaust blow-by.

NTSB Probable Cause Narrative

A loss of engine power due to low cylinder compression from an open exhaust valve, and the pilot's failure to lean the fuel mixture.

Event Information

Type of Event Accident
Event Date 3/12/2000
Event Day of the Week Sunday
Time of Event 1630
Event Time Zone Mountain Standard Time
Event City BELEN
Event State NEW MEXICO
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 87002
Event Date Year 2000
Event Date Month 3
MidAir Collision Indicator No
On Ground Collision occurred ? No
Event Location Latitude
Event Location Longitude
Event Location Airport
Event Location Nearest Airport ID
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport Off Airport/Airstrip
Distance from airport in statute miles --
Degrees magnetic from airport --
Airport Elevation --
Weather Briefing Completeness Not pertinent
Investigator's weather source Weather Observation Facility
Time of the weather observation 1656 Mountain Standard Time
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) 30
Weather Observation Facility ID ABQ
Elevation of weather observation facility 5355
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) 28
Time Zone of the weather observation MST
Lighting Conditions Day
Lowest Ceiling Height 25000
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height 0
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Unknown
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling Broken
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet) 0
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles) 0
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius) 19
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit) -9
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic) 360
Variable Wind Indicator Unknown
Wind Speed (knots) 11
Wind Velocity Indicator Unknown
Wind Gust Indicator Unknown
Wind Gust (knots) 16
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) 30
Density Altitude (feet) 6911
Intensity of Precipitation Unknown
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury None
On Ground, Fatal Injuries 0
On Ground, Minor Injuries 0
On Ground, Serious Injuries 0
Injury Total Fatal --
Injury Total Minor --
Injury Total None 2
Injury Total Serious --
Injury Total All --
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 13942
NTSB Notification Source --
NTSB Notification Date Mar 12 2000 12:00AM
NTSB Notification Time 2040
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information DMS
Date of most recent change to record Sep 30 2003 9:55AM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\MONR
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office --

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft Registration Number N4069Z
NTSB Number DEN00LA056
Missing Aircraft Indicator N
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 91: General Aviation
Type of Flight Plan filed None
Flight plan Was Activated? --
Damage Substantial
Aircraft Fire None
Aircraft Explosion None
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Piper
Aircraft Model PA-18-150
Aircraft Series Identifier PA-18-150
Aircraft Serial Number 18-8079
Certified Max Gross Weight 1750
Aircraft Category Airplane
Aircraft Registration Class U.S. Registered/U.S. Soil
Aircraft is a homebuilt? No
Flight Crew Seats --
Cabin Crew Seats --
Passenger Seats --
Total number of seats on the aircraft 2
Number of Engines 1
Fixed gear or retractable gear Fixed
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection Annual
Date of Last Inspection Nov 3 1999 12:00AM
Airframe hours since last inspection 102
Airframe Hours 7901
ELT Installed Yes
ELT Activated No
ELT Aided Location of Event Site Unknown
ELT Type --
Aircraft Owner Name VICTOR ZABLE
Aircraft Owner Street Address P.O. BOX 11249
Aircraft Owner City ALBUQUERQUE
Aircraft Owner State NM
Aircraft Owner Country
Aircraft Owner Zipcode 87192
Operator is an individual? --
Operator Name
Operator Same as Owner? Yes
Operator Is Doing Business As --
Operator Address Same as Owner? Yes
Operator Street Address
Operator City
Operator State
Operator Country
Operator Zip code
Operator Code
Owner has at least one certificate None
Other Operator of large aircraft? No
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation Unknown
Operator Certificate Number --
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not --
Indicates Domestic or International Flight --
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail --
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary) Personal
Second Pilot on Board No
Departure Point Same as Event Yes
Departure Airport Code E80
Departure City
Departure State NM
Departure Country
Departure Time 0
Departure Time Zone
Destination Same as Local Flt dest & departure same, accident can occur anywhere
Destination Airport Code
Destination City
Destination State
Destination Country
Specific Phase of Flight Takeoff
Report sent to ICAO? --
Evacuation occurred --
Date of most recent change to record Jan 2 2001 10:35AM
User who most recently changed record dbo
Since inspection or accident --
Event Location Runway Number and Location 0
Runway Length --
Runway Width --
Sight Seeing flight No
Air Medical Flight No
Medical Flight --