ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 34864
Last updated: 27 March 2017
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Narrative:The airstrip manager arrived at the airstrip and found the aircraft parked on the ramp. The pilot informed him that he had noticed a drop in oil pressure during his flight and had landed and 'fixed the problem.' The pilot asked for oil and the airport manager gave him 6 quarts of automotive oil. The manager saw the pilot pour 3 quarts of oil into the oil tank and put the additional 3 quarts of oil in the back of the aircraft cockpit. He hand-propped the aircraft and the engine fired immediately with no apparent difficulties. After the pilot took off, the manager noticed dark smoke coming from the exhaust. The airplane completed a crosswind and downwind traffic pattern leg, and appeared to be headed back toward the airport. The airstrip manager stated that as the airplane turned from base to final about 300 feet agl, it stalled, entered a 180-degree spin, and impacted the ground in a near vertical, nose down attitude. There were streaks of oil underneath the engine outward to the left wing and wheel pants, and the bottom of the fuselage was covered in oil. The oil line that provides the reading for the oil pressure gauge was found to be split approximately 180 degrees in circumference at the hose fitting, and was split in two other locations. The hose was a soft, pliable rubber material, and testing revealed that it was pressure-rated at 10 psi. Oil is pumped through the line about 40 to 45 psi during normal operations. The oil pressure hose fitting on the engine was not equipped with a restricted orifice to prevent the escape of fluid in case of line failure as required by regulation. CAUSE: The failure of the pilot to maintain adequate airspeed while attempting to make a precautionary landing, which resulted in a stall/spin and collision with the terrain. A factor in his failure to maintain an adequate airspeed is the pilot's likely diverted attention to the oil loss problem and pending engine failure. An additional factor is the pilot/mechanic's improper installation of an unapproved oil hose, which ruptured under pressure.
|C/n / msn:|| 839|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||Johnson Valley , CA -
United States of America
|Destination airport:||Twenty Nine Pal, CA (TNP)|
|Investigating agency: ||National Transport Safety Bureau (NTSB) - United States of America |