Rising Oil Temps Signaled Trouble
The decision to try and make an airport, over a precautionary
landing, off-airport, can be a tough one... and often one that
really can't be second-guessed unless you were in the cockpit in
question. Unfortunately... the few minutes the pilot needed his
engine to hang tough to make the airport didn't happen and a forced
landing went badly...
Luscombe 8A--File Photo
NTSB Identification: ERA12FA017
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 08, 2011 in Dixie, GA
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8A, registration: N41907
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may
contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when
the final report has been completed.
On October 8, 2010, about 1450 eastern daylight time, a Luscombe
8A, N41907, incurred substantial damage when it impacted trees
following a total loss of engine power near Dixie, Georgia. The
pilot received serious injuries and the passenger was killed.
Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no
flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations,
Part 91, personal flight. The flight originated from the
Thomasville Regional Airport (TVI), Thomasville, Georgia, earlier
that day, about 1420.
The pilot stated that he and his passenger departed from Flying
Harness Farms Airport (37FL), Bell, Florida, at about 0830, for the
TVI fly-in. The flight was unremarkable. He checked the weather and
noted that unfavorable conditions were going to develop and decided
to depart TVI early. The planned return flight to 37FL departed
around 1420. About 20 minutes later, while cruising at 1500 feet
above ground level (agl), he noted the engine oil temperature was
rising. Once the engine temperature past the 200 degree point, he
checked with the onboard GPS for the nearest airport to land. He
reduced engine power to curtail the rising oil temperature. He
noted the engine oil temperature continued to rise and reached 240
degrees. He recalled telling his passenger that they may have to do
a force landing. When they where about 4 miles from the Jefferson
Landing Airport (74FL), the engine started knocking and failed. He
lined up with an open field that he saw below. Upon approach to the
field, the airplane had too much energy and impacted trees at the
edge of a tree line.
The airplane’s right wing separated from the fuselage,
ripping open the cockpit roof section. The right side of the
fuselage impacted the ground. The left wing buckled at the wing
root to fuselage section and bent forward, coming to rest parallel
and on top of the left side of the fuselage. The main wreckage came
to rest about 30 feet forward of the impacted trees.
A post recovery examination of the engine by NTSB showed a 6
inch diameter section from the top crankcase flange area, between
the number 2 and 1 cylinder, had separated exposing the piston rods
and crankshaft section. Several engine components were retained by
NTSB for further examination.