DEN07CA019
DEN07CA019

On November 5, 2006, approximately 1100 central standard time, a Luscombe 8F, N26324, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when the it struck trees and impacted terrain following a loss of power during landing approach to a field in Wellsville, Kansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 without a flight plan. The pilot, the sole occupant aboard, was not injured. The cross-country flight originated from Ottawa, Kansas, approximately 1030, and was en route to Gardner Kansas.

According to a telephone interview and the pilot's accident report, the engine made a loud "bang" approximately 10 minutes into the flight and lost power. The airplane was vibrating, so the pilot secured the engine. The pilot declared an emergency, then attempted to land in a bean field. The airplane had "insufficient speed and altitude" to clear a tree line and struck the trees. Both wings were extensively damaged and the fuselage was crumpled.

An FAA inspector responded to the accident site and reported the engine oil "at a normal level." Examination of the maintenance records revealed the following:

Last annual inspection: November 9, 2005
Current tachometer time: 2,066.12 hours
Aircraft total time: 17,731.9 hours
Time since overhaul (TSO): 1,700.49 hours
Overhaul date: Unknown
Rated overhaul time: 1,800 hours

Engine disassembly revealed the number 2 intake valve had been completely "swallowed" into the cylinder. The engine had accrued 1,700.49 hours since overhaul. The rated time-between-overhaul for the Continental C-90-12F engine is 1,800 hours.

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