NTSB Identification: MIA96LA131.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 26, 1996 in MERIDIAN, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 210M, registration: N722PD
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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, who had previously flown the airplane, reported that he had an oil leak and landed at Meridian. He found oil on the engine cowling behind the propeller, and thought the propeller oil seal was leaking. He added 2 quarts of oil, and took off on another flight. During climb-out, the oil pressure dropped below the red line, and the pilot returned to Meridian and landed after about a 10 to 15 minute flight. He did not inform the owners or mechanics that he had operated the engine with low oil pressure, while returning to the airport. Mechanics found a cracked oil cooler. They replaced the oil cooler and added about 8 quarts of oil to fill the engine to 9 quarts. Another pilot went to Meridian to ferry the plane back to the home base. He reported that during the climb after departure, the engine began to vibrate and loose power. He turned back, but did not have enough power to reach the airport. The engine seized, and during an emergency landing, the aircraft encountered a ditch and nosed over. Postcrash examination of the engine showed the #5 connecting rod had failed due to damage from oil starvation. The other connecting rod bearings also showed indications of oil starvation, and debris was found in the oil pump and filter.

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

previous engine damage; failure of the pilot of the previous flight to report to the operator and/or mechanics that the engine had been operated with low (or no) oil pressure; inadequate maintenance/inspection after most of the oil had leaked from the engine oil system during the previous flight; oil starvation; and subsequent failure of the #5 connecting rod. Factors relating to the accident were: the previous oil filter leak and loss of oil pressure.

Full narrative available

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