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TOPIC: Cracked Oil Sump

Cracked Oil Sump 2 months 3 weeks ago #1540

  • Jen D
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Yikes! Glad you are ok, Kent.

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Cracked Oil Sump 2 months 3 weeks ago #1536

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Yesterday, I joined the ranks of those who survived an engine failure. It was a 2.5 hour flight to my home base (KMPI) and upon landing, taxiing to the hanger and shutting down, I got out of the airplane to see oil pouring out of the engine. It was draining out of the bottom middle of the oil sump near cylinders 5 and 6. Leading up to this, all engine indications were normal. Oil pressure and oil temperature were right where they always are. I heard or felt no bangs or vibration. Once in the hanger, there was 4 quarts of oil in the sump so luckily I doubt the engine got run dry. I believe this problem started about 10 miles out from landing because I remember a slight smell of oil. If it would have been 20 miles out, the engine would have probably seized with an off airport landing in a rural, rolling foothills area. I'm so fortunate it played out this way. The engine has 165 hour SMOH and is still under warranty so working with the engine shop to determine cause and repair.

Now, to my question: While the engine has not yet been pulled and opened up so see if something came apart to strike the oil sump from within, is a failure of the sump itself a plausible failure mode, and what might cause a sump to fail? Metal fatigue, vibration, corrosion, an undetected crack that grew, non-flat surfaces between the case and the sump and thus torque forces when the bolts are tightened down, etc? The engine is an IO-470-S. I did some preliminary searching of SDR's but have found nothing yet. I have not heard of an oil sump failing. Any thoughts appreciated.
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