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N1445P accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 45.593055°N, 124.188889°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Lakeside, OR
43.575670°N, 124.175114°W
139.4 miles away
Tail number N1445P
Accident date 17 Nov 2013
Aircraft type Richard S Duncan Avid Flyer
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

HISTORY OF FLIGHT

On November 17, 2013, about 1400 Pacific standard time, an experimental amateur-built Avid Flyer, N1445P, was substantially damaged in a forced off-airport landing shortly after takeoff from Lakeside State Airport (9S3), Lakeside, Oregon. The pilot/owner received minor injuries, and the pilot-rated passenger received serious injuries. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan was filed for the flight.

According to the pilot, he had purchased the airplane about 1 month prior to the flight. At the time of the purchase, the airplane was in need of some unspecified maintenance. The maintenance was accomplished, the pilot had put about 3 hours on the airplane, and the pilot then indicated that he was planning to sell the airplane. The passenger, who was a friend of the pilot, indicated that he was interested in purchasing it. The passenger held an FAA mechanic certificate with airframe, powerplant and inspection authorization ratings, as well as a flight instructor certificate. The pilot stated that the passenger was his mechanic for the airplane.

According to the pilot, the flight was primarily a pleasure flight, with the added intention of serving as part of the passenger's exposure to, and experience with, the airplane in flight. The pilot was in the left seat, and the passenger was in the right seat. They took off to the south, and "circled around to the north" in order to gain altitude while remaining over the airport "in case anything happened." When the airplane was climbing through an altitude of about 1,800 feet, the engine experienced a complete loss of power. The pilot attempted at least one restart, but then recognized that he was not going to be able to return to the airport. He set up for a forced landing to the west of the airport; that terrain consisted of a mix of sand dunes and wooded areas bordering the Pacific Ocean. The pilot intended to land on the top of one of the dunes. However, the airplane was unable to reach the pilot's intended touchdown point, and struck the upsloping face of the dune, which resulted in crush damage to the fuselage and cockpit area. The pilot was able to exit the airplane, but the passenger had to be freed by first responders.

PERSONNEL INFORMATION

According to the pilot, he held a private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating and a tailwheel endorsement. He reported that he had a total flight experience of about 679 hours, including about 80 hours in Avid Flyer "A" model airplanes, and about 3 hours in the accident airplane, which was a "C" model. The pilot's FAA third-class medical certificate had expired a few months prior to the accident. The pilot did not renew that certificate, nor was he required to, because he only flew light sport aircraft, which only require a valid driver's license as medical certification.

AIRCRAFT INFORMATION

According to FAA records the airplane was manufactured in 1989, and was issued its initial operating limitations in 1993. The airplane was serial number 375. The pilot purchased the airplane in October 2013, and was the sixth registered owner of the airplane.

The airplane was equipped with wings that folded aft for transport/trailering. Each wing held a 13-gallon fuel tank. Each tank fuel line was equipped with an ON-OFF valve, and flexible transparent tubing was used to route fuel serially from the tanks to the header tank, fuel selector valve, and engine. The fuel pump was vacuum-driven.

The airplane was equipped with a Rotax 582 engine, which was a two-cylinder, two-stroke cycle, dual carburetor design. A crankshaft-driven cross shaft drove the oil pump, which was mounted just below the carburetors. A rotary valve, also driven by the cross shaft, routed oil to the cylinders and to the engine internal components.

METEOROLOGICAL INFORMATION

The 1355 automated weather observation at an airport located about 10 miles south of the accident site included winds from 200 degrees at 8 knots, visibility 10 miles, a broken cloud layer at 3,200 feet, temperature 14 degrees C, dew point 8 degrees C, and an altimeter setting of 30.04 inches of mercury.

AIRPORT INFORMATION

The pilot hangared the airplane at, and departed on the accident flight from, 9S3. The airport was equipped with a single turf runway, which measured 2,150 by 100 feet, and was situated at an elevation of about 20 feet above mean sea level. 9S3 was located about 2 1/4 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.

WRECKAGE AND IMPACT INFORMATION

The airplane impacted the eastern slope of a large sand dune which was part of mix of a series of dunes and woodlands that bordered the beach to the west of the departure airport. The airplane struck the dune face in the upslope direction, and the evidence was consistent with a rapid stop over a short distance.

The airplane came to rest upright and essentially intact. Both main landing gear were displaced up and aft. One of the blades of the three-blade wood propeller was fracture-separated at the site, and the lower engine cowl was crushed in the up and aft direction. Each of the wing flaps had partially separated from its respective wing.

The initial examination revealed that the right tank was found to be about half full, and the left tank empty. The pilot reported that that was known to him prior to departure. Both tank valves, and the cockpit main fuel valve, were all found to be in their respective "ON" positions, and fuel was observed in the transparent lines that ran from the tanks to the main valve. No testing was done to ensure fuel could flow through the lines or the valves in their as-found positions.

A detailed examination of the wreckage was conducted several months subsequent to the initial examination. Aside from impact-related damage, the only exterior anomaly observed with the engine was the cracked and/or embrittled condition of some of the rubber-like components, including the engine mounts and carburetor mounting sockets (cylindrical gaskets). That condition was consistent with aging effects on those previously-flexible components.

Partial disassembly of the engine revealed a fracture failure, into multiple fragments, of the plastic drive gear for the engine oil pump. The investigation was unable to determine the age of the gear, and the underlying nature and cause of the fracture was not determined. The only observed lubrication of that fractured gear or its metal drive gear were a few traces of dried grease, which was consistent with aging and lack of maintenance. At least one piston had scoring consistent with oil starvation. The scoring damage was sufficiently severe that it captured and immobilized the piston ring by deformation and smearing of the piston parent material.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Service History and Maintenance Information

The pilot reported that the airframe had about 150 hours total time in service at the time of the accident. Review of the available maintenance records indicated that a "zero time" Rotax 582 engine was installed in the airplane in September 2001. No details of what that overhaul included or excluded were available. The records indicated that the engine had accumulated a total time in service of about 10 hours since it was installed in the airplane. The most recent engine maintenance record entry was dated 3 weeks after the 2001 engine installation.

According to the Rotax maintenance guidance, the engine was supposed to be subjected to a "general overhaul" every 5 calendar years, or 300 hours in service, whichever occurred first.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot/owner’s failure to comply with the engine manufacturer’s maintenance guidance, which resulted in the total loss of engine power due to the fracture failure of the plastic drive gear for the engine lubricating oil pump.

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