NTSB Identification: NYC08LA033.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 06, 2007 in Durbin, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/26/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-135, registration: N3257B
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 noticed an oil leak on the day prior to the accident, and asked a mechanic to examine the airplane, prior to his departure. The mechanic did not observe any significant indications of an oil leak and the pilot decided to depart for another airport where a company mechanic could further examine the engine. While en route to the destination airport, at an altitude of 5,000 feet, the pilot began to smell oil and observed smoke emanating from the engine. Shortly after, he heard an "explosion" and observed a "chunk of oil" blow out of the engine and cover the windshield. The oil pressure gauge continually decreased and the pilot looked for a place to perform a forced landing. He landed on a dirt road, during which the right wing struck a tree and was substantially damaged. Examination of the engine revealed the engine crankshaft oil seal was partially dislodged, and protruding from the front of the engine case. The most recent condition inspection was completed 2 months prior to the accident, with no anomalies noted. The airplane flew 43 hours since the inspection.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power while in cruise flight due to the partially separated crankshaft oil seal.
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