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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN15LA028
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, October 26, 2014 in Plainview, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/16/2016
Aircraft: HUEBBE Sonex HB, registration: N244HB
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot and a sport pilot-rated passenger were conducting a personal cross-country flight in the experimental amateur-built airplane, which was powered by an uncertified automotive engine. The airplane was in cruise flight when it experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot(s) attempted a forced landing on a field, during which the airplane nosed over. The wreckage path through the field was about 200 ft long, which was consistent with excessive energy/speed upon touchdown.
A review of maintenance logbook entries revealed that the engine had been assembled by the owner and that the camshaft and crankshaft had been removed when work was performed on the engine about 3 years before the accident. Postaccident examination of the engine indicated that the crankshaft had fractured due to a fatigue crack that had initiated at a fillet radius at the forward end of the No. 2 main bearing journal where the journal transitioned to the forward cheek. The cause of the fatigue crack could not be determined.


The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The loss of engine power during cruise flight due to a fatigue fracture of the crankshaft, which resulted in a forced landing on unsuitable terrain.