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Narrative:Substantially damaged in a forced landing in Arizona in 1987: damaged air frame sold to Bill Speers, who rebuilt it between 1987 and 1994. However, this Mustang crashed on take off on its first post-rebuild test flight at Chino, California on 4 April 1994,
North American P-51D Mustang
|C/n / msn:|| 44-74446|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2|
|Airplane damage:|| Substantial|
|Location:||Chino, California -
United States of America
|Phase:|| Take off|
|Departure airport:||Chino, CA|
|Destination airport:||Prescott, Arizona|
The pilot departed with the intention of circling the airport several times to check the aircraft prior to departing on a cross-country to Prescott, Arizona. The airplane was undergoing a major rebuilding and restoration after a previous accident and had not flown for several years. Postcrash examination revealed that two oil cooler lines had been inadvertently crossed. One of the oil cooler lines failed as a result of the incorrect line installation and the engine oil was pumped overboard.
The engine subsequently sustained a catastrophic internal failure. The last logbook entry and documented annual inspection for the airplane was dated 1987. The pilot's last flight physical was dated 1981. Ground witnesses stated that the pilot did not go through the normal preflight ground power checks prior to flight.
While maneuvering in the airport area, the pilot reported that he experienced an oil mist in the cockpit. The pilot declared an emergency and the Chino Air Traffic Control Tower cleared the aircraft to land on runway 21. The aircraft collided with terrain in a cow pasture about 1/4 mile north of the airport.
During the postcrash examination of the engine and the oil system, it was observed that the inlet and outlet oil lines to the oil cooler had been inadvertently crossed. An aluminum beaded oil line with a rubber hose and clamp was found disconnected from the cooler on the inlet side. According to a mechanic familiar with the aircraft and engine types, the crossing of these oil lines will cause a pressure build up and can force the hose to uncouple.
Examination of the airplane fuselage revealed a trail of engine oil from the oil cooler aft along the belly to the tail.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
the pilot's decision to fly an unairworthy and uncertificated airplane, his failure to perform an adequate preflight, and the improper installation of the oil cooler lines.
Sold as a restoration project to Bill Jennings in 1995, named "Saturday Night Special". Resold in 1998: (Jon Barnett) sold again in 2002: (Nathan Davis), By 2003: wore "Checkertail Clan" paint scheme and was airworthy in Indiana
||Dr. John Smith
||Updated [Cn, Operator, Total occupants, Total fatalities, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]|
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