NTSB Identification: DEN06LA058.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 11, 2006 in Glenwood, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2006
Aircraft: Eldredge NXT, registration: N42XT
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 cruising at an airspeed of 300 knots at an altitude of 12,500 feet, the airplane "hit a pocket of wind shear." Shortly thereafter, the pilot noticed smoke entering the cockpit. When the pilot noticed an increase in engine oil temperature, he reduced the engine power. The pilot attempted to locate an area to execute a forced landing and declared a "mayday" to air traffic control. In an attempt to reduce the smoke continuing to enter the cockpit, the pilot shut down the engine, and feathered the propeller. The smoke in the cockpit dissipated, and the pilot attempted a forced landing to a dirt runway. Due to oil on the windshield, the pilot's visibility was reduced during the approach and landing. During the landing, the airplane departed the dirt runway surface and impacted rocks and terrain. Examination of the engine revealed that the crankshaft oil seal was partially extruded at the six o'clock position. No additional anomalies were noted with the engine that would have precluded engine operation. The aircraft was equipped with a Christen air/oil separator. No evidence of improper installation was noted, and all of the lines were secure at their respective fittings. The separator was removed and the ball check valve within the separator was free to move and no obstructions were noted. An alternate warm air source (whistle slot) was located in the crankcase vent line and mounted on the left side of the firewall. The oil breather tube exited the airframe on the lower left side of the fuselage.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the loss of engine power due to the partial failure of the crankcase nose seal for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was the pilot's diminished visibility during the forced landing due to oil on the windscreen, resulting in a runway excursion and subsequent impact with rocks and terrain. Full narrative available
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