NTSB Identification: LAX05LA172.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 14, 2005 in Geyserville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Republic RC-3, registration: N6292K
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.
Shortly after takeoff the engine lost power and the airplane nosed over during a gear up emergency landing in a vineyard. No discrepancies were noted with the run-up or initial climb out. About 7 miles into the flight, both the pilot and pilot/mechanic passenger noted a rise in oil temperature and a corresponding drop in oil pressure. The rear seat passenger heard "banging and clattering" coming from the engine during this time. The pilot attempted to make an alternate airport; however, a loud bang was heard, the engine lost power, and the pilot landed in a vineyard. The engine examination revealed that the number 1 connecting rod had separated and knocked a hole in the engine case. The connecting rod end cap contained deformation and bluing. The associated rod journal contained bearing transfer (a bronze/orange discoloration). Oil was in the engine case as well as on the outside of the engine cowling. Oil was drained from the oil sump, with metal debris found in the oil. The two sets of spark plugs for the number 1 and number 3 cylinders were oil sooted and contained foreign debris around the electrodes.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power due to failure of the number 1 connecting rod bearing due to a probable oil starvation. Full narrative available
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