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On March 12, 2005, at 1038 Pacific standard time, a Navion, Navion H, N2512T, was substantially damaged during a forced landing attempt, following a loss of engine power near Lenhardt Airpark, Hubbard, Oregon. The commercial pilot was critically injured and his passenger was seriously injured. The pilot/owner was conducting the flight under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the cross-country personal flight which was originating at the time of the accident. A flight plan had not been filed.
In a telephone interview with the pilot, he said that he used a check-list to preflight the airplane, and that he checked the fuel tanks for contamination. He said that he started the engine with the fuel selector in the both position, and taxied with it in the left main position. He performed his engine run-up with the fuel selector in the right main position; he said the engine performed normally. The pilot said that as he took the active runway 02 for takeoff, he switched the fuel selector to the both position.
On June 21, 2005, the pilot submitted a written statement which said: "As I taxied to the departure end of Rwy 02 I cycled the fuel selector valve from L to R and back to Main with no interruption of engine operation." He further said that the airplane's engine run up was normal and the takeoff was normal until immediately after takeoff when the engine quit with no sputtering or surging.
Witnesses said that the airplane had just taken off, when the engine appeared to lose power. The pilot performed a forced landing into a Christmas tree farm. The engine mount was bent, the right wing, fuselage, and empennage were bent, wrinkled, and twisted.
The pilot's most recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight medical exam (second class) was on January 14, 2004, and at that time he reported on his application that he had 425 hours of flight experience. It was estimated that he had 460 hours of flight experience at the time of the accident. The pilot was nearing the completion of his Flight Instructors training.
The airplane was a non-pressurized, single engine, propeller-driven, five seat airplane, which was manufactured by Navion Aircraft Corporation, in 1968. The airplane had a maximum takeoff gross weight of 3,315 pounds. It was powered by a Continental IO-520-B, reciprocating, normally-aspirated, fuel injected, direct-drive, air-cooled, horizontally-opposed, six-cylinder engine, which had a maximum takeoff rating of 285 horsepower at sea level. Maintenance records indicate that the last annual inspection was completed on June 2, 2004, and at the time of the accident, the airplane had 5,093 hours of flight.
The pilot had equipped the airplane with an engine data management system, EDM-700, from J.P. Instruments. He subsequently had GAMI (General Aviation Modifications, Incorporated) fuel injection nozzles put in the engine.
At 1053, the weather conditions at Aurora State Airport, Aurora, Oregon (elevation 196 feet), 320 degrees for 4 nautical miles (nm) from the accident site, were as follows: wind 030 degrees at 11 knots, gusting to 16 knots; visibility 10 statue miles; cloud condition clear; temperature 60 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 45 degrees Fahrenheit; altimeter setting 30.23 inches.
The Lenhardt Airpark (elevation 165 feet), Hubbard, Oregon, is not serviced by a control tower. The airpark has one runway: 02-20 which is 3,200 feet long and 40 feet wide. Both ends of the runways are VASI (Visual Angle Slope Indicator) equipped. The airpark is serviced by a CTAF (Common Traffic Advisor Frequency) of 122.9 MHz.
WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION
The airplane was found approximately 500 feet, 90 degrees to the right of the departure end of runway 02 (N45 degrees, 10', 58"; W122 degree, 44', 21"; elevation 145 feet). The airplane impacted 6 to 8 foot high Christmas trees and created an approximate 50 foot path through them on an orientation of approximately 110 degrees. The longitudinal orientation of the airplane was approximately 140 degrees. All of the airplane's major components were accounted for at the accident site.
On April 19, 2005, the engine was test run through its full power band at the Troutdale Airport, Portland, Oregon. No preimpact engine or airframe anomalies, which might have affected the airplane's performance, were identified.
MEDICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL INFORMATION
No toxicology tests were performed on the pilot; he was hospitalized with critical injuries (predominately to the head).
The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses. The pilot stated that he believes that his head injuries would have been significantly less, if he had been wearing shoulder harnesses.
TESTS AND RESEARCH
The airplane's EDM-700 was sent to the manufacturer for read-out of its storage data card. The data indicated that all six of the engine cylinder's EGTs (exhaust gas temperatures) dropped simultaneously. No engine anomalies were identified by the read-out.
The airplane, including all components and logbooks, were released to a representative of the owner's insurance company, on April 20, 2005.