NTSB Identification: LAX01LA254.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 21, 2001 in Winslow, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/24/2002
Aircraft: Watkins Velocity, registration: N222RW
Injuries: 1 Minor,4 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During cruise flight, the engine lost power, followed by an off-airport forced landing. The airplane collided with obstacles on the ground. The pilot, who was receiving flight following advisories, reported a loss of engine oil pressure to the air traffic controller. During the flight's diversion to an airport, the engine continued to lose power and the pilot was unable to maintain altitude and reach the divert airport. Local police reported that the pilot subsequently returned to the airplane, chopped it up with an axe, and transported it from the site in a truck. Subsequently, repair personnel examined the engine noting that the number three cylinder head had separated from the cylinder barrel allowing the engine oil to drain from the engine during flight. Engine records indicated the last engine overhaul was January 1988. The pilot reported the engine had 1,275 hours since overhaul with 38 hours since the airplane's last annual inspection in May 2001.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The separation of the number three cylinder head from the barrel resulting in a loss of engine oil during flight. Factors were the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing, and the rough uneven ground of the forced landing site. Full narrative available
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