Last updated: 30 March 2017
Narrative:Lodestar N300E had been leased to movie producer Michael Todd since October 1957 and flight crew was provided by Linden Flight Service.
En route from Burbank to Tulsa, he flight made routine position reports from its assigned altitude of 11,000 feet until passing over Winslow, AZ. Shortly after the last routine report at 11,000 feet a higher altitude was requested of ATC because of encountering icing conditions. The request was granted and the aircraft reported, five minutes later, being at 13,000 feet between cloud layers. The last report was over Zuni, NM, estimating Grants at 02:49. Ten minutes after this report a ground explosion at an elevation of 7,200 feet msl was observed by another flight and by ground witnesses. The right engine master rod bearing had failed in flight and the right propeller was feathered; however, complete loss of control followed and the aircraft struck the ground in a very steep angle of descent. There is evidence of the aircraft being considerably over its maximum allowable weight at departure and it is believed that the comparatively sudden failure of an engine at 13,000 feet created a situation, made more critical by virtue of the then existing weight, in which the pilot was unable to maintain control of the aircraft.
Probable Cause:PROBABLE CAUSE: "The Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the loss of control of an overloaded aircraft following the failure of an engine at a cruising altitude which was critical for single-engine operation. The loss of control was aggravated by surface ice accretion."
» CAB File No. 2-0038