October 8, 2011, Dixie, Ga., Luscombe 8A


At about 1450 Eastern time, the airplane incurred substantial damage when it impacted trees following a total loss of engine power. The pilot received serious injuries and the passenger was killed. Visual conditions prevailed.

About 20 minutes after takeoff, while cruising at 1500 feet agl, the pilot noted the engine oil temperature was rising. Once the engine temperature past the 200 degree point, he checked with the onboard GPS for the nearest airport. About four miles from the divert airport, the engine started knocking and failed. The pilot aligned the airplane with an open field for landing but, on approaching the field, the airplane had too much energy and impacted a treeline.
Post-accident examination of the engine revealed a six-inch diameter section from the top crankcase flange area, between the number 2 and 1 cylinders, had separated exposing the piston rods and crankshaft section.



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