NTSB Identification: LAX01LA045.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 19, 2000 in GUISTINE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/24/2002
Aircraft: COLLETTE GLASSAIR III, registration: N540AK
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane nosed over during a forced landing after the pilot encountered smoke in the cockpit. Oil was spewing onto the windshield, the engine was losing oil pressure, and smoke was filling the cockpit. The pilot made an emergency landing on an abandoned dirt strip that was about 1,400 feet long. However, the airplane overran the runway into a ravine and overturned. Maintenance that had been completed the day before the accident included an oil change and replacement of the crankshaft nose seal; a run-up had revealed no oil leaks. The engine sustained no visible damage resulting from the forced landing, and visual examination revealed no evidence of catastrophic mechanical malfunction or fire. A significant amount of engine oil emanated from the nose cowling where the engine and propeller flange protruded. The oil film proceeded aft onto the windscreen as well as the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. The spark plugs, cylinder walls, valves, and pistons exhibited no mechanical damage. Oil lines within the engine compartment were secure on their fittings. The propeller governor was secure and not leaking. The oil filter and oil filter converter plate were properly installed and secure. There were no visible contaminates in the oil filter or suction screen. The propeller was removed, but there was no evidence of oil leakage at the propeller seal. The crankshaft oil seal was out of its bore and resting on the crankshaft. One oil ring was cracked, but no compression rings were broken. There was evidence of overheating from running lean. The breather hose had been mounted over the motor mount rather than under it. In this location the hose was pinched when the cowling was installed. This plugged the breather hose and pressurized the case, forcing oil out through the front seal.

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

Maintenance personnel misrouted the crankcase breather hose so that it was pinched when the cowling was installed. This pressurized the crankcase displacing the oil seal and forcing oil out of the engine. A factor was the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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