NYC07LA026
NYC07LA026

On November 10, 2006, about 2145 eastern standard time, an amateur-built Vogel Glastar 41, N441AV, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain near Snow Shoe, Pennsylvania. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured and the pilot-rated passenger/owner was fatally injured. Night visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed for the flight from Linden Airport (LDJ), Linden, New Jersey, to Metcalf Field (TDZ), Toledo, Ohio. The personal flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, while in cruise flight, the engine "stopped immediately and could not be restarted." The pilot was receiving flight following at the time, and reported the problem to air traffic control personnel. "Because it was black, we flew the angle of attack meter and waited for ground contact." The pilot could not remember the impact, but remembered hearing a helicopter after the accident and then calling 911 for assistance.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane force-landed in a wooded area and came to rest on the slope of a ridge. An on-scene examination of the wreckage revealed propeller signatures consistent with an engine not operating at impact.

On December 11, 2006, two FAA inspectors and a representative from the manufacturer of the Eggenfellner Subaru 2.5 liter engine examined the wreckage. According to one of the FAA inspectors, the cam belt, also referred to as the timing belt, was loose. In addition, the idler pulley, upon which the cam belt would normally have run, was missing. There was also a broken stud where the idler pulley should have been.

The cam belt exhibited wear marks on its outer circumference, and there was rubber residue on a 90-degree AN fitting adjacent to the location of the missing idler pulley.

When the crankshaft was rotated by hand, the cam belt rotated the camshafts. Cylinders number 2 and number 3 had no compression. According to the FAA inspector, it would be typical for this type of "interference" engine that valves could contact piston heads or each other and bend when camshafts are out of time due to a slipped or broken cam belt.

The original attach bolt for the missing idler pulley had been replaced by the airplane builder, who was not the current owner, with a 6-inch stud to mount an additional alternator. The mounting stud had been sleeved with a spacer to maintain a mounting distance between the alternator and the engine.

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