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The aircraft underwent a 100 hourly inspection six days prior to the accident. During that inspection three oil leaks were rectified. When the aircraft commenced operations again after the 100 hourly inspection, the engine again started to leak oil at a significant rate. The operation was remote from the maintenance organisation. The pilot did not determine the source of the oil leak nor monitor the oil consumption rate during the days prior to the accident. On the day of the accident the pilot had been spreading superphosphate since late morning. He had finished that task and had commenced spreading clover seed. On the second seeding sortie he sensed a loss of performance. He pushed the throttle lever forward but the engine did not respond. He checked the RPM and noted it was 2200 and decreasing. He then noted that the oil pressure was indicating zero. At this stage he was about 50 feet above the ground and operating in mountainous terrain. He turned the aircraft to the right to avoid an area of trees and try to land on a steep upslope. The aircraft stalled into the upslope and came to rest after a 25 metre ground-slide. The investigation revealed that the oil filter bolt and sleeve had failed as a result of high cycle low stress fatigue. This was consistent with the retaining bolt being under-torqued. This resulted in the oil filter separating from the engine, a consequent loss of engine oil and finally, loss of engine power.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 14 April 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1730  
Location:3 km SW Omeo Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Victoria  
Release date: 26 October 1988  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-25 
Aircraft registration: VH-GWS 
Serial number: 25-2490 
Type of operation: Aerial Work 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Agricultural strip near Omeo VIC
Departure time:1725
Destination:Agricultural strip near Omeo VIC
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