NTSB Identification: SEA02LA072.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 21, 2002 in Creswell, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/25/2003
Aircraft: Gallagher Taylor "Coot", registration: N41RG
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During the maiden flight of the experimental aircraft, shortly after takeoff, the engine began to run rough and subsequently quit. Witnesses observed the nose of the airplane drop and shortly thereafter, the airplane collided with the terrain in an open flat field located about one mile from the airport. Post-crash inspection of the airframe revealed no malfunctions in the aircraft's airframe or flight controls. In discussions with people at the airport, the pilot reported that he was having trouble getting the right fuel/oil mixture for the Mazda rotary engine. Each time the engine was run, the spark plugs would foul. Examination of the engine revealed that the engine was seized, with both rotors, an oil pump, and the rotor bearing surfaces exhibiting galling and burn damage consistent with oil starvation. The metering oil pump, which supplies oil to the combustion chambers, was missing from the engine installation, with its drive absent. Further examination disclosed that the oil injection nozzles associated with the missing metering oil pump were also missing from the combustion chambers, and that the nozzle holes were plugged with a non-metallic substance.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power due to oil starvation followed by the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the initial climb shortly after takeoff. An improper engine modification was a factor. Full narrative available
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