NTSB Identification: ERA10LA316
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 17, 2010 in Pageland, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/13/2011
Aircraft: MCCULLOCH JERRY RV-4, registration: N418GM
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 that during cruise flight the engine made a popping sound and subsequently experienced a loss of power. He performed an emergency landing on a road and during the landing roll the airplane struck a ditch. A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the crankshaft idler gear was missing a lock plate, which likely resulted in the idler gear vibrating loose from the engine case, leading to the loss of engine power. The lock plate was not found and no other anomalies were noted during the examination. An annual conditional inspection on the engine was conducted 10 days prior to the accident; the engine was overhauled about 320 flight hours prior to the accident. Based on the evidence and records, it is likely that the lock plate was not installed during the last overhaul.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Maintenance personnel’s improper installation and inspection of the crankshaft idler gear, which resulted in a loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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