Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, May 6, 2014

More Alerts For GA Pilots

No matter how extensively you test on the ground, the proof comes in the air

The mechanic said he was told that the right propeller control lever wasn't moving smoothly, and there was no mention that the propeller wasn't feathering. The mechanic asked one of the pilots to move the propeller control lever in the cockpit through its full range of travel. The mechanic said the arm on the propeller governor moved smoothly from stop to stop as the lever was moved. He told one of the pilots to adjust the friction lock for the lever, which eased the tightness of the lever. He also noticed the nose gear strut was flat again.

After the accident airplane departed, a witness took off in another airplane with the intent of following the 310 to Miller. He said that he established air-to-air radio contact with the other pilots and made visual contact. He said that the pilot-rated passenger radioed that "fuel or oil" was coming out of the right engine. The pilot-rated passenger subsequently radioed that they were losing oil pressure and were returning to Monett, followed by, "We shut the engine down." The witness responded, "Okay, I'll follow you."

The witness said he could see the airplane losing altitude and advised them that Interstate 44 was one mile ahead. The pilot then announced they were going to land on the interstate. The witness said he saw the light on the accident airplane's nose gear illuminate the trees in front of them. Then the nose of the airplane pitched up, rolled slightly to the right, and then pitched forward, followed by flames and a fireball.

Examination of the right engine revealed the oil filter adapter wasn't properly assembled or adequately secured to the engine.

The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the pilot's failure to maintain airplane control after he shut down the right engine in flight due to a loss of oil pressure. Contributing to the accident was the mechanic's improper assembly and installation of the right engine's oil filter adapter, which resulted in a loss of oil to that engine.

Peter Katz is editor and publisher of NTSB Reporter, an independent monthly update on aircraft accident investigations and other news concerning the National Transportation Safety Board. To subscribe, write to: NTSB Reporter, Subscription Dept., P.O. Box 831, White Plains, NY 10602-0831.


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