Loss of oil ends flight

This August 2007 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Aircraft: Lancair.

Location: Sylvan Grove, Kan.

Injuries: 1 Serious.

Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: The airplane had been serviced with fuel and oil prior to takeoff. During the initial climb to 10,500 feet, the electronic manifold pressure gauge malfunctioned. The pilot attempted to manage power by throttle position. He noticed that the temperature in the number 2 cylinder head increased more than the other cylinders. Almost immediately upon leveling off, the engine lost power.

The pilot switched the fuel boost pump to high. The engine surged, then lost power and quit. Mixture control manipulation restarted the engine, but after a few seconds there was an explosion and a lot of smoke and the engine quit again. The pilot made a rapid descent and landed in an open field. The airplane’s landing gear collapsed during the rollout.

The post-accident investigation determined that the oil line to the turbocharger wastegate actuator had come loose, causing oil starvation and high heat distress, resulting in catastrophic engine failure.

Probable cause: A catastrophic engine failure due to oil starvation.

For more information: NTSB.gov

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