LAX07LA045
LAX07LA045

On November 23, 2006, about 1230 mountain standard time, a Nanchang CJ-6A, N8181C, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with a berm during a forced landing on a private airstrip near Queen Creek, Arizona. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal local area flight departed from Falcon Field, Mesa, Arizona, about 1200. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a flight plan had not been filed.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge (IIC), the pilot stated that while maneuvering in the vicinity of Flacon Filed, he experienced problems with the engine driven air compressor. Several minutes later he experienced a total loss of power. He opted to perform a forced landing at an abandoned airstrip located 16 miles southeast from Falcon Field. While on the landing roll, the airplane encountered a berm and the right main gear collapsed. The left main landing gear and nose gear subsequently collapsed, resulting in damage to the wings.

With the approval of the Safety Board IIC, the pilot had the compressor and gearbox assembly examined by a maintenance facility. A mechanic found that the accessory gearbox had failed, as a result of the air compressor piston seizing in the cavity. The inhibited movement resulted in the failure of the oil pump, fuel pump, air compressor, and tachometer generator.

The Safety Board IIC spoke with several airplane mechanics at maintenance facilities specializing in Nanchang airplanes. The mechanics all reported that they had never seen an incident of an air compressor failure. A search of the Service Difficulty Report (SDR) database further revealed no evidence of such an occurrence happening previously.

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