April 1, 2011, Vega Baja, P.R., Cessna 172P


At about 1535 Atlantic time, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power and force-landed on a closed airfield. The airplane was substantially damaged. Visual conditions prevailed. The commercial pilot and two passengers were not injured.

The pilot reported the airplane was at 1000 feet when the engine began to vibrate heavily; altitude could not be maintained. At about 250 feet agl, he observed a runway at a closed, former military base and attempted a landing. During the landing attempt, the airplane collided with trees. Structural damage to the wings and fuselage resulted. Initial examination of the engine revealed the number 2 cylinder exhaust valve spring was loose.


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