NTSB Identification: LAX03LA056.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 30, 2002 in CORONA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/29/2004
Aircraft: NICHOLSON LANCAIR 320, registration: N364M
Injuries: 1 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 day before the accident the pilot/builder of the experimental airplane had installed an air/oil separator on the airplane. In the process, he had removed a high-pressure oil line from the oil cooler and then reattached it "firmly" with a screw clamp "as best he could." A taxi test was conducted with the engine cowling removed to check for oil leaks, and none were found. During climb out, at 6,500 feet, the engine lost oil pressure, and the pilot decided to make an emergency landing on an interstate highway. During final approach, the engine seized, and the airplane struck the roof of a motor home and came to rest on its belly. According to the pilot, the engine seized after the "hi presssure oil line to oil cooler was pushed or pulled off, draining all oil" from the engine.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot/builder's improper maintenance procedure for reattaching a high-pressure oil line, which resulted in the oil line disconnecting during flight, followed by a loss of oil and engine seizure.
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