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On 21 November 2012, at about 1055 Eastern Daylight-saving Time, a Cirrus SR22 aircraft, registered VH-WYH, departed Emerald, Queensland for Dubbo, New South Wales, on a private flight conducted under the instrument flight rules. The pilot and one passenger were on board.

At about 1122, the oil pressure annunciator light illuminated, the engine oil pressure indicated 30 pounds per square inch. As the oil pressure continued to slowly drop, the pilot became increasingly concerned and, tracked via Gilgandra, New South Wales. At 1401, the engine failed the pilot turned the aircraft towards Gilgandra aerodrome. It became evident that a landing at Gilgandra aerodrome was not achievable and at about 1405, the pilot deployed the ballistic parachute. The aircraft impacted the ground the pilot received minor injuries and the passenger was uninjured.

The pilot reported that the oil pressure indication dropped very gradually giving a false sense of security and that he normally maintained the oil level between 5 and 5 ½ quarts.

The engine was removed and a detailed examination did not identify any external oil leaks or internal defects that were not attributed to a lack of oil.

The pilots operating handbook recommends that the engine should not be operated with less than six quarts of oil. Seven quarts is recommended for extended flights.

The accident highlights the importance of understanding the information contained in the manufacturers publications.


Aviation Short Investigation Bulletin – Issue 17

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General details
Date: 21 Nov 2012 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1353 ESuT Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location   (show map):7 km S Gilgandra (ALA) Occurrence type:Engine failure or malfunction 
State: New South Wales Occurrence class: Technical 
Release date: 23 Apr 2013 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: Minor 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Cirrus Design Corporation 
Aircraft model: SR22 
Aircraft registration: VH-WYH 
Serial number: 2880 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Emerald Qld
Destination:Dubbo NSW
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Last update 25 March 2014