Aircraft: Cessna 310. Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Stotts City, Mo. Aircraft damage: Destroyed.
What reportedly happened: The right engine of the twin Cessna had recently undergone extensive maintenance. The pilot and the pilot-rated passenger originally planned to make several circuits in the traffic pattern to test the right engine, then fly the airplane to a nearby airport. However, the test flight was delayed to make an adjustment to the propeller lever friction lock. Because of the delay, the test flight did not happen until after sunset.
According to witnesses, the airplane’s nose gear landing strut was flat before departure and the pilots agreed they would leave the landing gear extended for the flight.
Instead of doing circuits in the pattern, the pilots decided to fly directly to the other airport. While en route, the right engine lost oil pressure, then lost power.
The pilot flying shut down the right engine, feathered the propeller and attempted to return to the departure airport. The Cessna 310 was not able to maintain altitude. The airplane crashed into trees and caught fire.
The post-accident examination of the right engine revealed the oil filter adapter was not properly assembled or adequately secured to the engine. The mechanic who performed maintenance to the oil adapter admitted that he did not follow the manufacturer’s instructions when reassembling the adapter and when installing it on the engine. As a result, the adapter came loose during flight, resulting in a loss of oil.
Based on the single-engine performance data provided by the airplane manufacturer, the airplane should have had a single-engine climb rate of about 166 feet per minute with the landing gear extended, assuming the airplane was properly configured and the operating engine was producing full power.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to maintain control after he shut down the right engine in flight due a loss of oil pressure. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to reposition the unairworthy airplane during twilight after extensive maintenance had been done to the right engine along with a known mechanical deficiency with the landing gear and the mechanic’s improper assembly and installation of the right engine’s oil filter adapter, which resulted in a loss of oil to that engine.
NTSB Identification: CEN13FA044
This November 2012 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.