On October 22, 1996, about 0938 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172F, N5130F, registered to a private individual, crashed onto a roof of a Publix supermarket while returning to land at the Venice Municipal Airport, Venice, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private-rated pilot sustained minor injuries. The roof of the Publix was damaged. The flight originated about 0933 from the Venice Municipal Airport, Venice, Florida.

On the morning of the accident the pilot removed the airplane from the hangar, started the engine, taxied in a circuit around hangars, and stopped in front of his hangar then secured the engine. He exited the airplane, closed his hangar doors and while walking to reenter the cockpit, he looked at the nose section of the airplane but did not observe oil leaking. He restarted the engine and taxied to runway 13, performed an engine run-up before takeoff, executed a 360-degree clearing turn before entering the runway, and departed runway 13.

After takeoff while climbing through 1,200 feet, he noted that the oil pressure was dropping with a corresponding drop in engine rpm. He turned to return to the airport and the engine then quit and the propeller stopped. He recognized that he was unable to land at the airport and executed a forced landing onto the roof of a supermarket. The airplane came to rest upright on the roof with all landing gears separated. There were no reported injuries to any individuals on the ground or inside the supermarket.

The airplane was recovered and examination of the engine compartment revealed that the oil temperature probe securing nut was loose. The oil temperature probe is secured to the oil screen which secures to the crankcase cover assembly. The engine crankcase was found to contain only residual oil and the oil capacity is 8 quarts. Additionally, oil was observed externally on the bottom of the fuselage aft of the engine compartment to the tail and in the lower right portion of the firewall. The oil filler cap, oil dipstick, and oil sump quick drain were found secured.

Examination of the taxiway in front of the pilot's hangar, the taxi route, and the engine runup area revealed oil stains on the ground. Additionally, an oil stain on the ground in a circular pattern was observed in the run-up area where the pilot performed a 360-degree clearing turn.

The pilot stated that he changed the engine oil and cleaned the oil screen 1 week before the accident; however, he did not operate the engine with the cowling removed after the oil change to check for oil leaks. He is not an Airframe or Powerplant mechanic but is authorized by 14 CFR Part 43 to perform preventative maintenance to his airplane which includes lubrication and cleaning and replacing oil strainers or filter elements.

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