At about 1530 Eastern time, the airplane experienced a hard forced landing. Visual conditions prevailed. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The solo private pilot was not injured.
While en route, the engine began to run rough, followed by a loss of power. Because he was unable to maintain altitude, the pilot elected to land downwind and touched down about midpoint of the runway. The nose landing gear contacted the runway surface hard. The No. 3 cylinder assembly was circumferentially fractured, separating the barrel and head. There also was structural damage to the engine firewall.