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Summary

Summary

The pilot, with two passengers, was conducting a trip in a Piper Lance from Archerfield to Moorabbin and return. During the engine run-up checks prior to departure from Archerfield, the pilot noted that the aircraft engine ran roughly, however increasing the engine RPM and leaning the mixture cleared the problem. During the flight to Moorabbin, he heard a slight miss in the engine note. On arrival at Moorabbin, the pilot noticed some oil on the outside of the engine cowl.

The pilot intended to depart from Moorabbin for the return flight to Archerfield two days before the day of the accident. On that day, the aircraft required the usual leaning to clear the engine roughness during taxi. Shortly after take-off, after the pilot had reduced the power settings to normal climb power, he noticed the vacuum gauge indicated zero. At about the same time, the engine began to run roughly and the pilot elected to return to Moorabbin. After landing, he removed the engine cowling, and noticed a significant amount of oil on the engine. The pilot then asked an engineer to investigate the problems. The engineer determined that there was a substantial oil leak from one of the top crank case bolts, and that the engine had lost approximately 3 L of oil. After resealing the bolt, refilling the engine with oil and replacing the vacuum pump, the engineer conducted a further engine run, during which there was no evidence of rough running.

 
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