NTSB Identification: WPR12LA200
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, May 11, 2012 in Rexburg, ID
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7GC, registration: N4861E
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On May 11, 2012, about 1810 mountain daylight time, a Champion 7GC, N4861E, serial number 7GC-49, was substantially damaged when it struck powerlines during a precautionary landing following a loss of engine oil pressure near Rexburg, Idaho. The pilot/owner and his passenger were not injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the pilot, he departed the traffic pattern of Rexburg-Madison County airport (RXE), Rexburg, after conducting two touch-and-go landings. He headed south, and reduced the throttle to 2,100 rpm to overfly a property. At that time, he noticed that the oil pressure dropped to the bottom of the green arc. He increased the engine to 2,500 rpm, and observed that the oil pressure indication decreased into the upper end of the yellow arc. He considered a return to RXE, decided against that due to the population density between the airport and his current position, and elected to conduct a precautionary landing in a field. On short final for the field, the airplane struck powerlines that were strung to a pump in the field, and then landed hard in the field. The airplane skidded about 150 feet, and came to rest upright. The propeller, landing gear, and fuselage were damaged.

FAA information indicated that the pilot held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating. The pilot reported a total flight experience of 295 hours, including 149 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent FAA third-class medical certificate was issued in November 2011, and his most recent flight review was completed in November 2011.

The airplane was manufactured in 1959, and was equipped with a Lycoming O-320 series engine. The engine was manufactured in 1965, and had a total time in service of 1,289 hours. The engine had never been overhauled.

The pilot reported that the 1753 automated weather observation for RXE included winds from 195 degrees at 4 knots; clear skies; temperature 17 degrees C; dew point -7 degrees C; and an altimeter setting of 30.11 inches of mercury.

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