NTSB Identification: SEA05LA179.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 22, 2005 in Richland, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: American Champion (ACAC) 7KCAB, registration: N7546T
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 pilot, who had just finished practicing a series of aerobatic maneuvers, was descending back toward the airport when the engine suddenly quit. He attempted to restart the engine, which momentarily fired, but it did not stay running. The propeller, which initially was windmilling after the power loss, eventually came to a stop, and the pilot was unable to get the engine to rotate by activating the starter. He therefore made a power-off forced landing in a nearby open field, and although the flare and touchdown were uneventful, during the landing roll, the aircraft encountered a pair of eight inch high berms and nosed over onto its back. A post accident inspection of the aircraft and engine determined that the fitting that attaches the oil pressure gauge line to the engine had come loose, and oil had escaped from the area around the fitting. Further inspection revealed that the loss of oil lead to extensive thermal and mechanical damage to the primary lower end engine components, and that the engine had seized as a result of that damage. A review of the aircraft records did not reveal any recent maintenance in which the oil pressure measuring system would have been expected to have been manipulated.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The oil pressure gauge line fitting coming loose from the engine, resulting in the loss of oil to the point where internal engine components were starved for oil, leading to extensive internal damage and seizing of the engine. Factors include a set of eight inch high berms in the field where the pilot found it necessary to execute his forced landing. Full narrative available
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