NTSB Identification: LAX01LA107.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 03, 2001 in Ramona, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2001
Aircraft: Christian Rans S-12, registration: N12FC
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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

According to the pilot, the engine lost power while in cruise flight. He attempted to land in a small canyon, or ravine area, and was unable to avoid a single tree that was directly in front of him in the center of the ravine. The left wing struck the tree and the right wing was bent when it struck the ground. The pilot, who is also the builder of the airplane, inspected the engine and found a broken crankshaft at the number 1 piston rod attach point. The engine had oil and no other anomalies were observed. The pilot reported that the engine was overhauled 20 hours prior to the accident. The manufacturer of the engine stated that the engine life for this model is 300 hours or 5 years. The engine in the accident airplane was manufactured on March 10, 1991. The manufacturer said they have no service history of crankshaft failures in this particular model engine. The crankshaft is required to be replaced at each overhaul. The engine was overhauled at a facility that only provides engines for ultralight aircraft. The owner of the facility stated that he does not approve of the use of his engines in certified airplanes. He said he recalled overhauling this engine but could not remember the date, and does not believe the crankshaft was replaced. The crankshaft was not provided for metallurgical examination.

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

The in-flight failure of the engine crankshaft for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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