NTSB Identification: SEA06CA051.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 11, 2006 in Arlington, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2006
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415-C, registration: N93788
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
According to the pilot, earlier in the afternoon, he flew the airplane from one airport to another, and he and his passenger had lunch at the destination airport. The pilot reported that he experienced "some difficulty restarting the plane" for the return trip. After "several tries," he was able to restart the engine. The pilot stated that he did not recall checking the engine oil pressure after restarting the engine. After takeoff on runway 34, the pilot "noticed that the oil pressure indicated 0." He reduced power and maneuvered the airplane for an emergency landing on runway 11. During the turn to final, the airplane "lost altitude," and the pilot attempted to stop the descent by adding power, but the left wing struck the ground. According to the pilot, about 6 months before the accident, "there were several incidents where the oil pressure failed to come up after a stop for lunch. After mechanics replace[d] the oil pressure relief valve, this had not been a problem." The reason for the loss of oil pressure on the accident flight was not determined.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's excessive descent rate and his delay in taking action to reduce the descent rate which resulted in an in-flight collision with the runway during an emergency landing. Contributing factors were the total loss of engine oil pressure and the pilot's failure to check the oil pressure gage after engine start which would have resulted in detection of the oil pressure problem prior to takeoff. Full narrative available
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