NTSB Identification: FTW88LA142.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39996.
Accident occurred Monday, August 01, 1988 in VEGA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/1990
Aircraft: BEECH A36TC, registration: N3707Z
Injuries: 3 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 AIRPLANE WAS ON A NIGHT CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT WHEN ENGINE OIL STARTED TO APPEAR ON THE WINDOWS. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO GET THE AIRPLANE TO AN AIRPORT BEFORE THE OIL PRESSURE WENT TO ZERO. AFTER LOSS OF OIL PRESSURE, THE ENGINE STARTED TO VIBRATE, AND THE PROPELLER SEPARATED FROM THE ENGINE. WITH NO FORWARD VISIBILITY AND VERY LITTLE SIDE VISIBILITY, THE PILOT MADE A FORCED LANDING ON A HIGHWAY SERVICE ROAD; HOWEVER, DURING THE LANDING ROLL, THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED HIGHWAY SIGNS AND REFLECTORS. THE PILOT SAID THERE WAS A FIRE ON THE HIGHWAY, BEHIND THE AIRPLANE, BUT IT NEVER REACHED THE AIRPLANE. A TEARDOWN OF THE ENGINE REVEALED A FAILURE OF THE CRANKSHAFT THAT WAS INITIATED BY A PRE-EXISTING FATIGUE CRACK. THERE WAS EVIDENCE THAT OPENING OF THE FATIGUE CRACK LED TO GRADUAL LOSS OF LUBRICATING OIL, THEN SEPARATION OF THE PROPELLER.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: UNREPORTED PROPELLER STRIKE.
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