LAX01LA254
LAX01LA254

On July 21, 2001, at 0720 hours mountain standard time, an experimental Velocity, N222RW, reported a loss of engine oil pressure and made an emergency forced landing 8 to 10 miles north of Winslow, Arizona. The airplane was substantially damaged during the ensuing ground obstacle collision sequence. One passenger received minor injuries, and the certificated private pilot and remaining three passengers were not injured. The airplane was being operated as a personal flight by a private owner under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The flight had originated earlier that morning from Grand Canyon, Arizona, and was en route to Albuquerque, New Mexico, at the time of the accident. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and an IFR flight plan had been filed, but not activated.

According to Albuquerque center air traffic controllers, at 0720, the pilot, who had been flight following with center, requested airport location information as the result of an in-flight maintenance problem. At 0729, the pilot reported that he had experienced a loss of engine oil pressure, and that he was proceeding to the Winslow-Lindbergh Regional Airport. At 0733, he advised air traffic controllers that he would be unable to reach Winslow, and that he was "going down." Controllers advised the pilot the location of an emergency landing strip 15 miles north of the airport. Subsequently, controllers lost all radio and radar contact with the airplane.

At 0919, Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Range No. 42 located the accident site. All the occupants were transported to Winslow Memorial Hospital, Winslow, treated, and released.

Navajo County sheriff deputies reported that the pilot later returned to the site with a pickup truck and an ax. He chopped up the airplane, loaded it in the truck, and departed the area.

On November 19, 2001, the Safety Board hired a representative from D and B Aircraft Engines of Bethany, Oklahoma, to travel to Cashion, Oklahoma, and inspect the wreckage at its storage location. The examination revealed that the engine number three cylinder head had separated from the cylinder barrel, causing a gradual loss of engine oil. The details of the examination are included in this report.

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