NTSB Identification: LAX04LA257.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 10, 2004 in Castaic, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415-C, registration: N2542H
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 airplane collided with an automobile and nosed over during a forced landing on an interstate highway following a catastrophic engine failure. The pilot was ferrying the airplane to its new owner. During the ferry flight, the airplane was losing oil so repairs were made. The last maintenance entry made during the en route repairs stated in part, "Recommended new oil tank as soon as possible." The ferry pilot continued, and the recommended installation of a new oil tank was not completed. A few hours south of the airplane's destination, the engine lost power. Post accident examination revealed oil along the underside of the fuselage and approximately 3/4-quart of oil indicated on the dipstick. The number 2 connecting rod had separated and the connecting rod and its crankshaft journal were black and blue in color. The oil screen was removed and it was found to be only finger tight. The routing of the oil travels from the sump, to the oil pump, through the oil screen, to the engine. If the screen is loose then oil has the ability to leak out.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: a catastrophic engine failure due to oil exhaustion, which was caused by the failure of maintenance personnel to completely tighten the oil screen. Full narrative available
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