Stay Within Gliding Distance of Airports w/i Phase 1 (maybe)
I get "Kit Plane" and they discussed an RV-10 accident (2013) where the oil line became disconnected, causing engine stoppage and forced landing. It was on it's 4th flight and airplane was damaged, but pilot was not injured. The pilot gave 20 lessons in the article. He also rebuilt and flew the RV-10 again. I am not sure this link to Kit Plane below works if you don't have a subscription (they have electronic only subscription which is what I have). Give it a shot.
My take away lessons:
A) In phase 1 stay over and near airports or emergency landing areas and fly at altitudes (unless taking off and landing) to allow power off landing at an airport or emergency landing site.
B) Check and double check all lines, visually and by feel every flight until one is sure there are no issues. How often do you remove the cow,l between every flight? Every other?
Some of the authors lessons learned, suggestions from his experience and his situation, when dealing with an emergency and/or forced landing to think of ahead of time:
- Know the plane's best glide and final approach speeds before its first flight.
- Carry a handheld com radio.
- Preflight your engine compartment using visual, touch, and torque checks.
- Install the best seatbelt/harness that you can.
- Include a fire extinguisher with your gear.
- Fly the plane.
- Believe your gauges.
- Talk to Air Traffic Control.
- Give status reports as you descend.
- Avoid distractions (what is the emrgency transponder code?).
- Work to find the best possible landing zone.
- Fly the plane to the ground.
- Be able to switch off your ELT.
- Mark your location with a GPS.
- Don't ever stop trying to solve the problem.
NTSB report is below.
Location: Julian, CA
Accident Number: WPR13LA085
Date & Time: 01/05/2013, 1300 PST
Aircraft: Jeremiah Jackson Vans RV-10
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal
The pilot reported that this was the fourth flight of the airplane’s phase one flight testing. About 2 hours into the flight (with an airplane total time of 6 hours), the pilot observed the oil pressure reduce rapidly to about 5 pounds per square inch. He did not notice any other problems with the airplane or engine, but he declared an emergency and requested a direct approach to a nearby airport. Within 5 minutes, the engine lost all oil pressure and the engine lost power. The airplane was unable to reach any available airstrips; therefore, the pilot turned toward a winding dirt road on top of a ridge. While maneuvering to avoid obstacles at a trailhead, the airplane hit a steep embankment and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings. During a post accident examination, an oil line near the oil filter was found to be disconnected, most likely due to insufficient tightening of the fitting, which led to its loosening during cruise flight. The loosened fitting allowed oil to spray into the cowling and exit out the lower nose area. The pilot stated that there were no indications of oil leakage during the preflight inspection.
Probable Cause and Findings
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
A loss of engine power due to oil starvation as a result of a disconnected oil line. Contributing to the accident was an insufficiently tightened oil line fitting.
Oil - Not specified (Cause)
Fasteners - Not specified (Cause)
Eng oil dist (airframe furn) - Incorrect service/maintenance (Factor)
Installation - Owner/builder (Factor)
Rough terrain - Contributed to outcome
On January 5, 2013, about 1300 Pacific standard time, an experimental Jeremiah Jackson Vans RV-10, N262NJ, made an off-field forced landing near Julian, California. The pilot/owner was operating the airplane under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. The private pilot sustained minor injuries; the airplane sustained substantial damage from impact forces. The local personal flight departed Ramona, California, about 1045. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The pilot reported that the airplane was in phase one flight testing. The airplane and engine had a total time of 6 hours, and this was the fourth test flight. He was about 2 hours into his flight, and heading toward his home airport with the airplane level at 8,500 feet mean sea level. He observed the oil pressure go down rapidly to about 5 pounds per square inch (psi), but did not notice any other problems with the airplane or engine. He declared an emergency, and requested a direct approach to Ramona airport, runway 27.
Within 5 minutes, the engine lost all oil pressure, and the engine seized. He was unable to make any available airstrips, and observed a steep gorge ahead of him. He turned, and elected to land on a winding dirt road on top of a ridge. He avoided trees and cars parked at a trailhead, but the airplane hit a steep embankment. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and wings.
A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage. He observed that an oil line just to the right of the oil filter was disconnected. Oil sprayed into the cowling, and exited out the lower nose at approximately the 5:30-6 o'clock position.
The pilot stated that there were no indications of oil leakage during the preflight inspection.