NTSB Identification: BFO92LA036.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 51137.
Accident occurred Friday, March 13, 1992 in SCHELLSBURG, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/11/1993
Aircraft: Christen Industries PITTS S2B, registration: N53385
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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

WHILE EN ROUTE TO CINCINATI, OH, APPROX ONE HOUR AFTER TAKEOFF FROM MAYTOWN, PA, THE PLT AND PASSENGER OBSERVED OIL ON THE AIRPLANE'S WINDSCREEN. THE PLT STATED HE DECIDED TO MAKE A PRECAUTIONARY LANDING, BUT AS SOON AS HE TURNED TOWARDS THE ALTERNATE AIRPORT, HE NOTICED AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF OIL FLOWING ACROSS THE AIRPLANE'S CLEAR FLOORBOARD. THE PLT SAID HE STARTED TO LOOK FOR SUITABLE TERRAIN TO MAKE A PRECAUTIONARY LDG, BUT THERE WAS NONE. AT THIS TIME, THE OIL PRESSURE GAUGE WAS READING ZERO. HE SAID HE PULLED THE POWER BACK TO AN IDLE SETTING, HOPING THAT IF HE NEEDED POWER LATER, THE ENGINE MIGHT STILL BE FUNCTIONAL. HE SAID HE FLEW THE AIRPLANE INTO A SMALL CLEARING IN THE WOODED TERRAIN. THE AIRPLANE HIT THE FIELD, TURNED 90 DEGREES IN DIRECTION, AND SLID ON THE RIGHT WING FOR 100 FEET, COMING TO REST APPROX 250 FT FROM A TREELINE. ON SCENE INVESTIGATIONS REVEALED THAT THE OIL BREATHER LINE HAD ACCUMULATED ICE NEAR THE END OF THE LINE AND WAS TOTALLY BLOCKED. THE OIL LEAK ORIGINATED FROM THE CRANKSHAFT OIL SEAL.

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

THE TOTAL BLOCKAGE OF THE OIL BREATHER LINE CAUSING EXCESSIVE PRESSURE IN THE ENGINE, RESULTING IN OIL LEAKAGE AND SUBSEQUENT ENGINE FAILURE.

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