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On the day prior to the accident the aircraft was flown to Griffith by the pilot and was left with a maintenance organization for a 100 hourly Inspection. The pilot has said that, on the following morning, the licensed aircraft maintenance engineer responsible for the inspection drew his attention to a slight oil leak from around the blanking plug at the forward end of the crankshaft and attempted to rectify the leak by using a hammer and punch. This has been denied by the engineer. The aircraft departed Griffith and climbed to a cruising altitude of 1000 to 1500 feet. After about 30 minutes a fine oil mist appeared on the windscreen and gradually increased until forward visibility became impaired. The pilot decided to return to Griffith and changed heading accordingly. Oil slicks were now appearing on the upper engine cowl and on the wings and forward vision became completely obscured. The pilot selected a large field below the aircraft and prepared to execute a precautionary landing. He obtained a limited amount of lateral vision by opening the canopy slightly. While the aircraft was banking, he was able to choose an approach path over pine trees but as soon as the wings were leveled he was unable to see ahead. He then became aware that the aircraft was on the point of stalling so lowered the nose and opened the throttle but the engine failed to respond. The left wing tip struck a tree branch and the aircraft landed heavily on the left main wheel and wing tip. The nosewheel entered rough ground and was torn off and the nose strut dug progressively into the ground causing the aircraft to nose over to an Inverted position after which It slid 46 metres. After the aircraft came to rest the pilot, with some difficulty, released himself and dragged his passenger clear of the wreckage. Subsequent examination of the wreckage revealed that a blanking plug was missing from the forward end of the crankshaft and this had allowed the inflight oil loss. The engine was completely exhausted of oil and was approaching the point of seizure. The failure of the engine to respond to throttle movement during the latter part of the approach was probably the result of complete blockage of the air intake filter by oil.
Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 109KB]
General details
Date: 12 October 1974 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1210 EST  
Location:Griffith Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 10 June 1975  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Victa Ltd 
Aircraft model: 115 
Aircraft registration: VH-MUM 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Griffith
Departure time:1135
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Last update 01 April 2011