Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Rans S-12XL Airaile, N124LP: Incident occurred April 23, 2022 and Accident occurred December 19, 2015

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  San Juan, Puerto Rico

April 23, 2022:  Aircraft experienced engine issues, crashed in a wooded and mountainous area, landing gear collapsed and flipped over. 

Date: 23-APR-22
Time: 21:30:00Z
Regis#: N124LP
Aircraft Make: RANS
Aircraft Model: S-12XL
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: NONE
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)

December 19, 2015

Aviation Accident Final Report
 - National Transportation Safety Board

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

Additional Participating Entity:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office;  San Juan, Puerto Rico
Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Guanica, Puerto Rico
Accident Number: ERA16LA076
Date and Time: December 19, 2015, 11:20 Local
Registration: N124LP
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The sport pilot was conducting a cross-country flight in the light sport airplane when, after about one hour of flight, the engine first experienced a partial loss of power, followed shortly thereafter by a total loss of power. The pilot twice unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine using the emergency checklist before performing a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The engine was manufactured about 10 years before the accident and maintenance logs indicated that it had not been overhauled since that time. Examination of the engine revealed that connecting rod bearing material was distributed throughout the power take off (PTO) section of the engine.
Furthermore, corrosion was noted on the PTO connecting rod and connecting rod bearing. Although the engine had not yet reached the manufacturer's recommended 300 flight hour time limit for overhaul, it had exceeded the recommended 5-year calendar time limit for overhaul by 5 years. It is likely that a piece of the failed bearing became lodged in the rotary valve disc, which prevented the disc from rotating, and subsequently blocked the air and fuel to the engine, which resulted in a total loss of engine power. Had the engine been overhauled, the corrosion likely would have been discovered and the inflight loss of power prevented.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot/owner's failure to maintain the engine in accordance with manufacturer guidance, which resulted in the undetected corrosion of the power takeoff bearing, subsequent bearing failure, and a total loss of engine power.


Aircraft (general) - Not serviced/maintained
Personnel issues Scheduled/routine maintenance - Pilot

Factual Information

On December 19, 2015, about 1120 Atlantic standard time, an experimental amateur-built Rans S-12XL, N124LP, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Guanica, Puerto Rico. The sport pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight, which originated from Dr. Hermenegildo Ortiz Quinones Airport (X63), Humacao, Puerto Rico, about 1015, and was destined for Eugenio Maria de Hostos Airport (TJMZ), Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, he performed a preflight and engine run-up with no anomalies noted. He flew the airplane for about an hour before the engine "sounded weird," then began to lose power, until it lost power completely. The pilot unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine two times using the emergency checklist prior to preforming a forced landing to a field. During the landing, the airplane incurred substantial damage to the fuselage.

According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the airplane was manufactured in 2009 and registered the pilot in May 2015. It was equipped with a Rotax 582 series engine that was manufactured in 2005. According to airplane maintenance logbooks, the most recent 100-hour inspection was completed on September 26, 2015, and at that time, the airplane had accumulated 213 hours of total time.

According to the manufacturer's guidance, a general overhaul of the engine was "to be carried out every five years or every 300 hours, whichever comes first." There were no entries in the maintenance logs that indicated an engine overhaul had taken place. According to the checklist from the maintenance manual, which was the checklist that the mechanic initialed as items accomplished, item 38 "General overhaul of engine" was marked as "N/A." A manufacturer representative indicated that an overhaul consisted of at least a complete engine teardown, the replacement of all bearings, seals, gaskets, crankshaft, and piston rings.

An examination of the engine revealed that there was fuel noted in the fuel tanks, fuel pump, fuel filter, and both carburetors. One spark plug was removed from each cylinder and thumb compression was obtained from all cylinders. However, when the propeller was rotated by hand, a metal scraping sound was heard. The engine oil was drained and metal particles were noted in the oil. The tachometer in the cockpit indicated 228 total hours of time.

The engine was further examined and the power take off intake had several pieces of bearing material, and one piece specifically that was contacting the rotary valve disc, which was making the scraping noise. In addition, the bearing material was noted in the combustion chamber and exhaust sections of the power take off side of the engine. The cylinder head of the power take off side was removed and revealed damage to the piston head. Next, the power take off cylinder was removed. Corrosion and damage was noted on the connecting rod and the fractured connecting rod bearing.

History of Flight

Enroute-cruise Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)
Emergency descent Off-field or emergency landing
Landing-flare/touchdown Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot 
Age: 36,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 3-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport pilot Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: August 6, 2014
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: February 4, 2015
Flight Time: 88 hours (Total, all aircraft), 53 hours (Total, this make and model), 57 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 15 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 4 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: PORRATA LUIS G 
Registration: N124LP
Model/Series: RANS S 12XL NO SERIES
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2009 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special)
Serial Number: 06061007
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: September 26, 2015 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 975 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 15 Hrs 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 213 Hrs as of last inspection 
Engine Manufacturer: ROTAX
ELT: Installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: 582
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 65 Horsepower
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TJMZ,38 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 20 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 12:45 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 321°
Lowest Cloud Condition: 4000 ft AGL
Visibility 6 miles
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 4000 ft AGL 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  /
Wind Direction: 270° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  /
Altimeter Setting: 
Temperature/Dew Point:
Precipitation and Obscuration: In the vicinity - Showers - Rain
Departure Point: HUMACAO, PR (X63)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: MAYAGUEZ, PR (MAZ)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 10:15 Local
Type of Airspace:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 17.989721,-66.925552 (est)

1 comment:

  1. The NTSB drained the engine oil? It doesn't have any. Other than a few cc's that were on their way to the combustion chamber.