Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Glasair III, N71AJ: Accident occurred August 07, 2012 in Westcliffe, Colorado

http://registry.faa.gov/N71AJ

NTSB Identification: CEN12LA543  
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 07, 2012 in Westcliffe, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2013
Aircraft: CROSS DAVID L GLASAIR III, registration: N71AJ
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After leveling off at 12,000 feet mean sea level for a test flight, the pilot noticed that the oil temperature began to increase, and then the engine lost oil pressure. The engine then lost total power, and the pilot performed a forced landing in a field. An examination of the engine revealed that a gasket between the remote oil filter adapter and the "spin-on" filter mounting pad had failed, which resulted in a loss of oil. The owner reported that he had lubricated the gasket with a compound upon installation. It could not be determined whether the compound had degraded the gasket.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The loss of oil pressure due to the failure of an oil filter gasket, which resulted in a total loss of engine power.

On August 7, 2012, about 0830 mountain daylight time a kit-built Glasair III airplane, N71AJ, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Westcliffe, Colorado. The private pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which operated without a flight plan. The local test flight originated from the Silver West Airport (C08), Westcliffe, Colorado, about 0810.

According to the owner, the accident flight was the airplane's first flight of a 40-hour test flight program. The pilot departed C08 and climbed to 12,000 feet. The pilot noticed that the oil temperature began to increase and then noted a loss of oil pressure. The engine stopped producing power and the pilot performed a forced landing to a field. The airplane sustained substantial damage to its fuselage.

An examination of the engine revealed that a gasket between the remote oil filter adapter and the "spin-on" filter mounting pad had failed which resulted in a loss of oil. The owner reported that the gasket was lubricated with a compound upon installation. It could not be determined if the compound degraded the gasket.


NTSB Identification: CEN12LA543
 14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 07, 2012 in Westcliffe, CO
Aircraft: CROSS DAVID L GLASAIR III, registration: N71AJ
Injuries: 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 August 7, 2012, about 0820 mountain daylight time a kit-built Glasair III airplane, N71AJ, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Westcliffe, Colorado. The private pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the local flight, which operated without a flight plan. The flight had just originated from the Silver West Airport (C08), Westcliffe, Colorado.

According to an initial statement provided by the pilot to the local sheriff’s department, the airplane lost oil pressure shortly after takeoff. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field. During the landing, substantial damage was sustained to the fuselage. 



IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 71AJ        Make/Model: EXP       Description: GLASAIR III
  Date: 08/07/2012     Time: 1420

  Event Type: Incident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
  City: WESTCLIFFE   State: CO   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED IN A FIELD, NEAR WESTCLIFFE, CO

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   1
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    


OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Unknown      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: DENVER, CO  (NM03)                    Entry date: 08/08/2012 


A test pilot had to quickly land a newly built experimental airplane after it lost power during its maiden flight from the SilverWest Airport Tuesday morning. 

The experienced test pilot, William Walker, of Scottsdale, Ariz., was hired by Valley residents Dave and Annette Cross, to fly, for the first- time, the Glass Air 3 plane the couple had been building for some 12 years.

According to FAA regulations, such planes must be certified for flight by a qualified test pilot before it can be flown by the owner or other pilots.

The pilot, who was on board alone, had taken off shortly before 8 a.m. and had been flying some 30 minutes. He was also in radio contact with Dave Cross.

On the flight back to the airport, said Custer County sheriff Fred Jobe, the pilot told Cross he had lost all power to the plane.

Cross immediately called 911 and emergency personnel were dispatched. Also called was a Flight for Life helicopter, said Jobe.

“The pilot hard landed the plane in a ravine between two hills west of Highway 69 near CR 105,” said Jobe.

The pilot and the plane were spotted at 9:10 a.m.

Initially, said Jobe, emergency personnel thought the pilot and plane were some 10 miles southwest of the airport instead of only about two miles from the airport because that is what the pilot had indicated via cell phone. The Flight for Life helicopter was the first to spot the plane and pilot, said Jobe .

“The pilot was up walking when found,” said Jobe, “but after complaining of back pain, he was transported to St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo. The pilot was released from the hospital later that day.

The plane, which appears to have sustained minor damage, was put onto a trailer and transported back to the Cross hangar.

National Transportation Safety Board experts were expected to be on site investigating the matter on Wednesday.

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