NTSB Identification: IAD99FA025.
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Accident occurred Monday, January 04, 1999 in LACONIA, NH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/05/2000
Aircraft: Lake LA-4-250, registration: N14001
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot/owner, sitting in the left seat, and flight instructor were on an instructional instrument flight. Shortly after takeoff, the airplane was seen trailing smoke. The smoke and engine noise stopped, then started again as the airplane leveled off, and began a left, 180-degree turn. The smoke and engine noise again stopped. Then the airplane descended, impacted a parking lot in a left-wing-down attitude, and bounced through a snow bank and down a 15-foot embankment, onto a field. It then rolled upside down, and caught on fire. A large hole was in the top of the engine crankcase, in line with a dislodged number 4 connecting rod. A hole in the bottom of the case was in line with a dislodged number 5 connecting rod. The number 1 connecting rod bearing and journal had light distress scoring in line with the oil supply hole. The number 2 connecting rod bearing and journal were normal, except for fire and heat damage to the bearing. The number 3, 4, 5, and 6 connecting rod journals had heavy distress scoring with extruded bearings. The injuries sustained by the pilot/owner precluded any recollection of the flight. He was not known to preheat the engine, and there were no witnesses to the airplane's preflight, start, runup or takeoff. Outside air temperature was 23 degrees Fahrenheit, and the airplane was stored in an unheated hangar. Recommended time between engine overhaul was 2,000 hours, or 12 years, which ever came first. The engine had in excess of 919 hours of operation, was built over 15 years earlier, and had not had an overhaul.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A loss of engine power during initial climb due to oil starvation. Contributing to the accident was the failure to perform an engine overhaul.

Full narrative available

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