NTSB Identification: ERA12LA400
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 16, 2012 in Anderson, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2013
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.

According to the pilot, he performed a preflight inspection of the airplane and noted no anomalies. He stated that he observed 4 quarts of oil in the engine. He hand prop started the engine, allowed the engine to warm up, and then performed an engine run-up check of the magnetos and the carburetor heat function, with no abnormalities noted. He stated that he did not recall the oil pressure of the engine during the engine run-up. As soon as the main landing gear came off the runway, the pilot noted the engine rpm was less than 2,400 rpm, instead of its usual 2,600 rpm. He ensured that the throttle was full forward and leveled the airplane at 100 feet above the ground, but the engine rpm did not increase. The pilot elected to turn the airplane for a precautionary landing on the intersecting runway. As he maneuvered the airplane in the turn, he noticed the engine rpm slowly decreasing until the engine experienced a total loss of engine power and the propeller stopped turning. The pilot searched for a place to land and maneuvered the airplane to clear trees that were in the flight path, and the airplane impacted the ground, nosed over, and came to rest inverted.

During postaccident examination, about 1/4 cup of oil was drained from the oil tank, which was not compromised during the accident sequence. According to the engine operations and maintenance manual, a minimum of 2 quarts of oil are required for engine operation. Because there was no evidence of preexisting engine oil leakage, and based on the amount of oil that was drained from the oil tank and the lack of leaked oil at the accident site, it is likely that the engine did not contain the appropriate amount of oil for operation when it departed. No other anomalies were noted with the engine.

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

A total loss of engine power as a result of an inadequate amount of lubricating oil in the engine. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's improper preflight inspection.

Full narrative available

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