According to the pilot, while in cruise flight over Ellisville, Mississippi, the Revelation’s engine lost total power.
During a forced landing to a cemetery, the left wing hit a tree, and the airplane then veered left and hit a tombstone and nosed over.
According to the pilot, the fuel tank was about 3/4 full when the engine lost power.
Examination of the engine revealed that the front connecting rod needle bearing had failed, which resulted in damage to the front piston and led to the loss of engine power.
The engine manufacturer’s instruction and maintenance manual warned that the engine was uncertified and that it was “subject to sudden failure.”
The manual further warned to “never use an aircraft fitted with this engine in areas, conditions and altitudes that may cause problems if forced to land as a result of sudden engine failure.”
The pilot should not have operated the airplane with the uncertified engine over a town that had no suitable place to land in the event of an engine failure.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the failure of the uncertified engine’s front connecting rod needle bearing, which resulted in damage to the front piston and a subsequent loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s decision to operate the airplane with the uncertified engine over a town that had no suitable area to land.
NTSB Identification: ERA15LA077
This December 2014 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.