LAX07LA011
LAX07LA011

On October 18, 2006, at 0950 mountain standard time, a Morrisey (Varga) 2150A airplane, N5114V, impacted terrain during a forced landing near the Stellar Airpark, Chandler, Arizona. The forced landing was precipitated by a loss of engine power. The airplane sustained substantial damage; the commercial pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. The pilot operated the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 as a personal flight. The local flight originated from the Chandler Municipal Airport (CHD) about 15 minutes prior to the accident and was destined for the Stellar Airpark (P19). Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed for the flight.

According to the pilot-rated passenger, who was the registered owner of the airplane, the aircraft had departed CHD when one of the pilots smelled "something kind of funny." The commercial pilot noticed that the oil pressure indicator was not registering any pressure, so he instructed the pilot-rated passenger to monitor the oil temperature gauge. Both pilots began scanning the surrounding terrain in case of a forced landing. The engine then began to "buck" and then lost power. The commercial pilot declared an emergency to CHD's air traffic control tower and informed them that they were making a forced landing near P19. The airplane touched down in rough terrain short of runway 35, which resulted in substantial damage to the wings and fuselage.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspector who responded to the accident site reported that engine oil was present on the left side of the cowling, over the left wing, and down the belly of the airplane. He opened the cowling and noted that the oil dipstick was in place and the oil filter remained secured to the engine.

The aircraft engine was inspected by a National Transportation Saftey Board investigator, who discoved that oil was dripping from the base of the oil cooler. Closer examination of the oil cooler revealed a bulge in the metal between the fifth and sixth base cap. In the bulged area there was a .4 centimeter crack in the metal, through which oil was leaking out.

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