The private pilot was conducting a local flight when the Republic RC3’s engine started to lose power.
He attempted a forced landing to a field in Post Oak, Missouri, however, the airplane hit trees. The pilot was seriously injured in the crash.
Examination of the engine noted that compression was low in all cylinders, and rust was present inside the cylinders.
The airplane was not operated for about four years and had flown about two hours since being returned to service.
The partial loss of engine power is consistent with a degradation in cylinder compression, and it is likely that rust formed in the engine during the time the airplane was not being used.
Probable cause: A partial loss of engine power due to low cylinder compression. Contributing to the loss of engine power was rust formation in the cylinders due to inactivity.
NTSB Identification: CEN16LA355
This August 2016 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.