Accident Van's RV-9A N629BJ,
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This record has been locked for editing.

Date:Tuesday 20 March 2012
Type:Silhouette image of generic RV9 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Van's RV-9A
Registration: N629BJ
MSN: 91051
Total airframe hrs:478 hours
Engine model:Lycoming O-320
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Sinton Road near Santa Maria Public Airport - KSMX, CA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Oceano, CA (L52)
Destination airport:Santa Maria, CA (SMX)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
After the pilot leveled the experimental amateur-built airplane for cruise flight, the engine began to vibrate and lose power. He immediately applied full rich fuel mixture, then conducted a series of troubleshooting procedures, including recycling power to the electronic ignition system and switching between the left and right electronic magneto. The vibration continued with no increase in engine performance, and, unable to maintain altitude, he performed a forced landing into a plowed field, where the airplane sustained substantial damage.

Subsequent examination of the engine revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. The ignition modules were examined and tested, and, while one unit exhibited wear consistent with imminent failure, both units functioned correctly. If one of the ignition units had failed in flight and lost its timing reference, it could have resulted in the observed engine vibration. However, if this was the case, the troubleshooting steps performed by the pilot would have remedied the problem. During examination, compression was not attained for one of the engine cylinders. This was most likely due to postaccident cylinder contamination and did not cause the loss of engine power.
Probable Cause: A partial loss of engine power during cruise flight for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination and testing did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR12LA141
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

20-Mar-2012 23:18 RobertMB Added
21-Mar-2012 02:31 Penu Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn]
21-Mar-2012 03:50 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Source]
03-Apr-2012 13:04 Geno Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Departure airport, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
27-Nov-2017 20:26 ASN Update Bot Updated [Aircraft type, Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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