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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 144506
Last updated: 15 November 2020
This record has been locked for editing.

Date:20-MAR-2012
Time:15:30
Type:Silhouette image of generic RV9 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Van's RV-9A
Owner/operator:Private
Registration: N629BJ
C/n / msn: 91051
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Category:Accident
Location:Sinton Road near Santa Maria Public Airport - KSMX, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Oceano, CA (L52)
Destination airport:Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
After the pilot leveled the experimental amateur-built airplane for cruise flight, the engine began to vibrate and lose power. He immediately applied full rich fuel mixture, then conducted a series of troubleshooting procedures, including recycling power to the electronic ignition system and switching between the left and right electronic magneto. The vibration continued with no increase in engine performance, and, unable to maintain altitude, he performed a forced landing into a plowed field, where the airplane sustained substantial damage.

Subsequent examination of the engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The ignition modules were examined and tested, and, while one unit exhibited wear consistent with imminent failure, both units functioned correctly. If one of the ignition units had failed in flight and lost its timing reference, it could have resulted in the observed engine vibration. However, if this was the case, the troubleshooting steps performed by the pilot would have remedied the problem. During examination, compression was not attained for one of the engine cylinders. This was most likely due to postaccident cylinder contamination and did not cause the loss of engine power.
Probable Cause: A partial loss of engine power during cruise flight for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination and testing did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=20120321X33932&key=1


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
20-Mar-2012 23:18 RobertMB Added
21-Mar-2012 02:31 Penu Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn]
21-Mar-2012 03:50 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
03-Apr-2012 13:04 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Departure airport, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]