NTSB Identification: DEN05LA070.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 22, 2005 in Longmont, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Ross/Stonecipher Vans RV-6, registration: N345JE
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.

While descending to an airport for a fuel stop, the engine started to vibrate and subsequently, lost total power. The pilot initiated a forced landing, and the airplane came to rest upright in a field approximately 3 miles from the airport. Prior to the flight, the engine oil and filter were changed. During preflight, the pilot noted 6 quarts of oil in the engine. Examination of the engine revealed approximately 3 quarts of oil in the engine. All four connecting rod journals and connecting rod caps and straps displayed discoloration and heat signatures consistent with oil starvation. The inverted oil system's separator revealed a black residue in the unit which also partially blocked the separator ports. According to the engine manufacturer's service instruction, the loss of oil from the breather fitting could be caused by an excessive amount of residue in the oil separator and oil line. The instruction recommends that the oil system be disconnected from the engine and flushed with a petroleum solvent every 300 hours of operation. No logbooks entries were noted for compliance with the service instruction; however, no entry was required by Federal Aviation Regulations.

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

the loss of engine power due to oil starvation. A contributing factor was the contamination in the inverted oil system's separator.

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