NTSB Identification: ATL07LA024.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 04, 2006 in Conyers, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/26/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-15, registration: N4540H
Injuries: 1 Minor.
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 stated the airplane had an oil and filter change, and replacement of the oil temperature and oil pressure gauge before the accident flight. The pilot added one quart of oil and watched the mechanic add five additional quarts of oil to the engine. An engine run was conducted and the oil was checked and the dipstick indicated 4 and one half quarts of oil. After the mechanic completed the required maintenance, the pilot had the airplane topped off with fuel and conducted a preflight inspection. No anomalies were noted during the preflight inspection. The pilot started the airplane, taxied out for takeoff after completing all required checklist items, and departed. While in cruise flight at 2,500 feet and 95 mph the pilot observed a change in oil pressure and oil temperature. The oil pressure increased above 50 psi, dropped below 40 psi, 0 psi, quit and seized. The pilot initiated a forced landing, maneuvered the airplane below some wires on final approach, and made a landing on a road rolling into a grassy area. The airplane collided with a bump, bounced, and touched back down again. The pilot observed a tree to his right and applied left rudder to avoid the tree. The right wing of the airplane collided with the tree and separated. The airplane turned to the right, and the left wing of the airplane collided with a tree. The airplane turned to the left and the airplane collided with another tree head on and came to a complete stop. The airplane was recovered by recovery personnel and the engine was examined. The oil temperature and oil pressure lines were attached and not damaged. The oil dip stick cap was separated from the oil dip stick and the spring from the cap was located in the bottom of the right side of the firewall lodged in an engine mount. No oil was present on the engine case halves or engine compartment. The engine was disassembled. The No. 1 cylinder connecting rod had separated from the rod journal. The No. 1 rod journal and connecting rod had heat discoloration and the rod cap bearing was partly melted and displaced. The No. 1 rod journal oil inlet was partly melted and blocked. No metal particles were found in the oil filter or in the oil screen. The rear accessory gears and the crankcase halves were dry and not coated with oil. Fifteen ounces of black oil were drained from the oil sump. A small amount of clear oil was observed in the valve covers.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Loss of engine oil for undetermined reasons resulting in oil starvation, failure of the No. 1 connecting rod resulting in the total loss of engine power. Full narrative available
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