CEN12LA302
CEN12LA302

On May 14, 2012, at 1530 central daylight time, a Troyer Kitfox 3, N7199T, collided with the terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power in Elm Creek, Nebraska. The airline transport certificated pilot was seriously injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the airframe. The airplane was registered to a private individual and was operated under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from the Central City Municipal Airport (07K), Central City, Nebraska, at 1430.

The pilot was repositioning the airplane for its owner after the airplane had undergone a condition inspection. The pilot reported that about 50 minutes after takeoff, a total loss of engine power occurred and the propeller stopped turning. The pilot lowered the nose of the airplane to gain airspeed, engaged the starter and was able to restart the engine. The loss of engine power occurred five more times and the pilot was able to restart the engine four of those times. However, the pilot was not able to restart the engine when it lost power for the sixth time. The pilot chose a field in which to land, but the airplane collided with a grass embankment prior to the field.

The airplane was equipped with a Rotax 582LC 2-cycle engine, serial number 3971866. A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector with the assistance of Rotech Flight Safety. Both cylinders were removed during the examination. The cylinders walls and the piston skirts were dull, contained vertical scoring, and exhibited the transfer of metal indicative of a lack of lubrication. The reservoir for the oil injection lubrication system contained about ΒΌ cup of oil. This level of oil was below the location of the pick-up tube. The integrity of the injection oil system was verified with no breaches noted.

The pilot reported he did not check the level of the oil in the injection reservoir prior to the flight, but that the reservoir was half full when the airplane was taken to Central City for maintenance. The mechanic who performed the condition inspection reported the airplane was brought to his facility in December 2011, and the reservoir was half full at that time.

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