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The pilot was tasked to take a passenger to Porphry and bring further passengers back to Kalgoorlie. The flight proceeded normally until shortly after cruise power was selected when the engine began to surge. Attempts by the pilot to rectify the surge were unsuccessful. He turned the aircraft towards Kalgoorlie and, when the oil pressure dropped to zero, the cockpit filled with smoke and the windscreen was smeared with oil, he elected to land on the salt lake almost directly below the aircraft. The landing was uneventful until the nosewheel broke through the lake's crust and the aircraft nosed over and stopped inverted. The loss of oil pressure, the smoke in the cockpit and the oil smear on the windscreen were a result of a hole puntured through the engine crankcase at the base of number 4 cylinder. The conrod of the number 4 piston had suffered a fatigue failure due to a metal embrittlement, brought about by molten material from the number 4 big end bearing coming in contact with the conrod. It is probable that the big end bearing had overheated due to a lack of lubrication, although no evidence was found of a restriction in the oil supply lines. The metallurgical examination concluded that the fatigue failure had developed over a short time and that there was evidence that the number 3 big end bearing had also been overheated due to a lack of lubrication. The pilot chose the site for the forced landing knowing that there was a chance that the surface would be soft. His choice was made after considering that the alternative landing sites were less suitable for a variety of reasons.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 14 October 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1534  
Location:White Lake (35km NE of Kalgoorlie) Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Western Australia  
Release date: 29 August 1989  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company 
Aircraft model: 210 
Aircraft registration: VH-TDV 
Serial number: 21061553 
Type of operation: Charter 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Kalgoorlie WA
Departure time:1520
Destination:Porphry WA
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