NTSB Identification: MIA02LA021.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 18, 2001 in Southern Pines, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415-C, registration: N99236
Injuries: 2 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 pilot stated that prior to takeoff he added 1.2 quarts of oil to fill the engine oil tank and then did a short test flight over his home airport. After the test flight he found no evidence of engine oil leakage from the engine. At 1250 he departed Parkton for Southern Pines. When about 10 miles from the Southern Pines Airport, the engine began to run rough. He continued toward the airport. The engine oil temperature began to climb and the engine oil pressure began to drop. The engine lost power and they could not make it to the airport. While making a forced landing on a golf course, the left wing collided with a tree and the airplane descended and collided with the ground. Postcrash examination of the airplane by an FAA Inspector showed the propeller had damage consistent with very slow rotational speed at ground impact. The engine cowling and bottom side of the engine had oil spray on it. The engine oil tank contained no oil. Examination of the engine by an FAA Inspector at an engine overhaul facility showed the front crankshaft seal was dislodged and allowed oil to escape from the engine at a substantial rate when the engine oil system was pressurized. No obstructions in the engine case vent system were found that would have caused over pressurization of the engine case. The reason for the dislodge crankshaft seal was not determined.

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

The dislodging of the front crankshaft oil seal for undetermined reasons resulting in loss of engine oil, loss of engine power, and collision with a tree and then the ground during a forced landing.

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