NTSB Identification: LAX94LA225.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 27, 1994 in CHANDLER, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/1994
Aircraft: STAUDACHER 300S, registration: N791S
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot had completed a practice acrobatic sequence when she said she heard the engine begin to 'lug.' She noted the engine oil pressure gauge was reading between 20 to 40 psi with the aircraft at full power, then almost immediately dropped to zero. The pilot selected an area for a forced landing, but as she neared the ground she said the area did not look as flat as it had initially. The pilot said that since the aircraft continued to lose power, she was committed to land. During the landing roll, the aircraft struck a berm damaging the landing gear, wings, and propeller. An internal examination of the crankcase revealed that the No. 5 connecting rod bearing had failed, although the connecting rod still remained attached to the crankshaft. The data plate indicated that the engine installed is rated for 290 hp at 2,575 rpm's. The aircraft's mechanic reported that the engine rpm was set for 2,700 rpm's.

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

THE OPERATION OF THE ENGINE AT AN RPM SETTING THAT EXCEEDED THE ORIGINAL DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS AND RESULTED IN THE FAILURE OF THE NO. 5 CONNECTING ROD BEARING.

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