MIA07IA067
MIA07IA067

On March 26, 2007, about 1848 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172S, N57FH, with a Thielert TAB 125 diesel engine, registered to Whome & Shortys Inc. and operated by Epic Aviation LLC, experienced a loss of engine power and landed in an open field in Moore Haven, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91 personal flight. The pilot and passenger were not injured; the airplane was not damaged. The flight had originated from the Page Field Airport (FMY), Fort Myers, Florida, earlier that day, about 1806.

About 35 minutes into the flight, the pilot observed a propeller over speed condition. Shortly after, propeller control and engine power was lost. He restarted the engine momentarily but it quickly lost power again. The pilot made a force landing in an open field. The propeller remained windmilling throughout the descent. Once on the ground, they communicated with authorities of the situation. The underside of the airplane was covered with engine oil.

The engine was recovered and sent to Thielert Aircraft Engine, Lichtenstein, Germany, for a teardown examination with German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) oversight. The examination revealed that a part of the thrust washer from the turbocharger axial bearing separated and became lodged in the dual-stage-pump. This prevented oil from returning to the oil pan from the turbocharger, increased oil pressure, and ultimately resulted in the venting of oil overboard from the breather.

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