On Thursday, October 14, 1993, at 1630 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe T8F, N1859B, registered to and piloted by Robert L. Bahruth, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing in a field near Vernon, New Jersey. The pilot received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was being conducted under 14 CFR 91.

The pilot observed a loss of engine oil pressure, while in cruise flight. Engine failure occurred, and he initiated a forced landing to a nearby field. During the landing roll, the landing gear contacted soft terrain and the airplane nosed over.

Mr. Martin J. Lynn, Aviation Safety Inspector for the Federal Aviation Administration, conducted an examination of the wreckage and an interview with the pilot. In his report, Mr. Lynn stated:

The smell of fuel was prevalent...the bottom of the engine had significant quantities of engine oil. The oil was very clean. Upon opening the engine compartment, it was noticed that the oil dipstick was lying unsecured in the engine compartment.

On October 26, 1993, FAA Inspectors Lynn and McCoy conducted an additional examination of the engine at the Greenwood Lake Airport, West Milford, New Jersey. In his report, Mr. Lynn stated:

The engine had seized and the seizure may have been caused by a piston or a camshaft...No cracks in the crankcase or oil system that could have caused a massive oil leak were discovered. There was a spray pattern of oil on the inside portion of the cowling that would indicate that the oil blew out the oil filler neck.

Mr. Lynn's report continued:

When I questioned him [the pilot] on whether or not he had verified that the oil cap was secured prior to takeoff he said he had not verified [that] it was secured. Apparently he had been working on the aircraft all day and assisted in the oil change and assumed everything was secured prior to takeoff.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page