On July 16, 2008, about 1915 central daylight time, a Holmes Arthur Orman, Kitfox IV, N70694, was substantially damaged during a forced landing on a roadway near Burkesville, Kentucky. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Day visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The local personal flight departed from a private grass field near Burkesville, Kentucky. The flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
During an interview with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot stated that while in cruise flight he heard a "loud bang, the "engine stopped," forcing him to make an off airport emergency landing. After seeing a paved roadway, he elected to land there. While on the final leg of the approach, he noticed power lines suspended across the roadway, he changed his approach angle in order to clear the top of the suspended lines. Once over the lines he descended to the roadway, landed "firm," bounced, and "landed hard" again causing substantial damage to the landing gear and fuselage which where buckled and splayed at their attachment points.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the pilot, age 51, held a private pilot certificate with ratings for single- and multi-engine land airplane. The pilot reported 500 hours of total flight experience, with 22 hours total flight experience in the accident airplane make and model.
The airplane, which was issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate on July 31, 1993, was powered by a Rotax 912 engine. At the time of the accident the airplane's tachometer indicated 751 hours of operation, and the latest annual inspection was completed on July 10, 2007. The engine hours were the same as the aircraft hours.
The wreckage was examined by a FAA inspector at the home of the pilot/owner. The inspector reported that there was a hole in the front of the engine case as well as a crack in the No 2 cylinder. Control continuity was confirmed on all control surfaces, oil was found in the oil reservoir, and was measurable on the engine oil dipstick.
The 1956 recorded weather observation at Wayne County Airport (EKQ), Monticello, Kentucky, an airport about 30 nautical miles to the east of the accident location, included clear skies, calm winds, visibility10 miles, temperature 28 degrees C, dew point 14 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.17 inches of mercury.
The Rotax installation manual, Chapter 13.6, states that the longitudinal axis of the oil tank must be parallel to the longitudinal axis of the engine. The tolerated deviation of parallelism is 10 degrees. The oil tank must also be positioned vertically in such a way that the normal oil level is always between 0 and negative 15.7 inches with the crankshaft of the engine. The manual warns that higher locations of the oil tank might cause oil to trickle through clearances at bearings and into the crankcase during long periods of engine stoppage. If fitted too low, it might negatively affect the circulation of oil.
According to excerpts from the Rotax Maintenance Manual, chapter 5.3 "Oil filter replacement and inspection of the filter insert gives a caution: to ensure correct functioning of the oil circuit and the forced flow lubrication, use genuine ROTAX oil filter only. Only these filters will ensure correct pressure in the by-pass valve."
Photos taken of the accident airplane engine show a white filter that Rotax states "are a garden tractor filter." This type of filter lacks a bypass valve, the pressure release of the bypass valve, the anti-drain back valve, and the amount of filter matting. According to Rotax "the filter installed on this airplane did not fit the flange area of the pump."