Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Lancair IV-P, registered to Northland Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot, N4YB: Accident occurred October 20, 2016 in Lovelock, Pershing County, Nevada

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Reno, Nevada
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Lovelock, NV
Accident Number: WPR17LA012
Date & Time: 10/20/2016, 0730 PDT
Registration: N4YB
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 

On October 20, 2016, about 0730 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Northland Aviation LLC Lancair IV-P airplane, N4YB, made a forced landing, following a total loss of engine power, near Lovelock, Nevada. The airline transport pilot sustained minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged to the wings and fuselage. The airplane was registered to Northland Aviation LLC and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal cross-country flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed. The flight departed from Fallon Municipal Airport (FLX), Fallon, Nevada, about 0710, and was destined for Burns, Oregon.

The pilot reported that he was climbing to his cruise altitude of 16,500 ft when, about 9 minutes into the flight, he felt a severe shudder and the engine lost power. Simultaneous to the shudder, oil began to coat the windscreen. The pilot headed for Derby Field Airport, Lovelock, for landing, however as he neared the airport, he realized that he was not going to make the runway and elected to land the airplane in an open area of desert vegetation.

A review of maintenance records indicated that the experimental Lancair IV-P, serial number LIV-482 was issued a special airworthiness certificate on February 7, 2003. The airplane was equipped with a Continental Motors TSIO-550-E, serial number 803075, 350 hp engine. The pilot reported at the time of the accident, the engine had accumulated about 865 hours since new.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed a hole in the crankcase above the #3 and #4 connecting rod journals. The #3 and #4 pistons were fractured into several pieces that were located within the engine. The #3 connecting rod had separated from the crankshaft. The connecting rods and crankshaft journals exhibited signs of thermal distress. The camshaft was fractured into four pieces. The top and bottom spark plugs from cylinder #3 exhibited debris damage and the electrodes were missing. The combustion chamber of cylinder #3 exhibited impact marks from debris. The intake valve in cylinder #3 was broken at the bottom of the valve guide. The broken intake valve head was not located within the engine and the fracture surface of the valve stem was severely damaged from debris. A metallurgist from Continental Motors visually examined the parts and determined that further examination would prove to be inconclusive due to the mechanical damage the parts sustained. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport
Age: 79, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:  No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Waiver Time Limited Special
Last FAA Medical Exam: 09/05/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:  7087 hours (Total, all aircraft), 865 hours (Total, this make and model), 12 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 3 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 0.3 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N4YB
Model/Series: IVP NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: LIV-482
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 4
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 08/01/2016, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 3500 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 865 Hours at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: CONT MOTOR
ELT: C126 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TSIO-550 SER
Rated Power: 350 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLOL, 3904 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1453 UTC
Direction from Accident Site: 29°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 140°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 30.36 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C / -3°C
Precipitation and Obscuration:  No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Fallon, NV (FLX)
Type of Flight Plan Filed:  None
Destination: Burns, OR (BNO)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0710 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class E 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor
Latitude, Longitude:  40.056111, -118.577778 (est)

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA012
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, October 20, 2016 in Lovelock, NV
Aircraft: NORTHLAND AVIATION LLC IVP, registration: N4YB
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

On October 20, 2016, about 0730 pacific daylight time, a experimental amateur-built Northland Aviation LLC Lancair IV-P airplane, N4YB, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing, following a total loss of engine power, near Lovelock, Nevada. The flight was being conducted as a business cross country flight under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 when the accident occurred. The airline transport rated pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was on file. The flight originated from the Fallon Municipal Airport (FLX), Fallon, Nevada about 0710, destined for Burns, Oregon. 

The pilot stated that he was climbing to his cruise altitude of 14,500 feet. During the climb, passing about 13,000 feet, oil began to coat the windscreen and the engine began shaking violently and then lost all power. He steered the airplane in the direction of Derby Field Airport, Lovelock, and initiated a emergency descent. He said that he could not see forward out of the windscreen, but was able to see the airport out of the side window. As he neared the airport, he realized that he was not going to make the runway and elected to land the airplane in an open area of desert vegetation. During the forced landing the airplane sustained substantial damage to the wings and fuselage. 

A detailed examination of the airframe and engine are pending.

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