Report on serious incident at Bergen Airport Flesland, Norway on 31 August 2015 with Piper PA-28-161, LN-BGQ

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A student pilot was about to conduct a solo flight as part of his PPL(A) education. The engine failed right after departure. The student was able to land and stop on the remaining runway. The cylinder head on cylinder no. 3 had split along the entire circumference, causing the engine problem.

The investigation has revealed two cases of missing screws on the engine cowlings. It is likely that at least one of these had been wedged between cylinder no. 1 and 3 and caused abnormal lateral strain, which the cylinder head could not withstand over time.

This incident has shown that a missing screw, which may appear to be trivial, has the potential to result in serious consequences. Everyone who inspects engines should be aware of this risk, which can be caused by even small objects between the cylinders.

Bergen Airport Flesland, Norway (ENBR)
Occurrence date
ICAO Location indicator
Piper PA-28 Cherokee/Arrow/Archer m.fl.
Meteorological conditions
Type of occurrence
Serious incident
Type of operation
Private (club)
Category of operation
Light, aeroplane (< 5 700kg)
Aircraft category
Landplane, Single-engine, Piston engine
ENSV (Stavanger ATCC)
Skriv ut
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Reports same category of operation