First in-flight emergency declared... mysterious problem !!! Long post

Discussion in 'Maintenance Bay' started by Piper_Six, Apr 2, 2021.

  1. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    A very bizarre and mysterious issue developed today... can anyone tell me if this has been seen elsewhere by anyone?

    First flight after the annual. Beautiful VFR day, CAVU.
    Bonanza BE-35, IO-470.

    Departed from my home field, EKY, headed east, was hoping to go to GVL for the weekend.
    Was thinking of going VFR @ 7500. All the preflight checks were picture perfect, nothing unusual or even remotely out of the ordinary. Did a thorough run-up and checked everything closely, considering this was the first flight after the annual.

    At around ~7000', still in climb, I noticed a very strong odor of burning oil, as soon as I smelled that, I noticed the oil pressure dropping, (the MVP-50 screen). Was within a shouting distance to KBHM, a class C airport with two FBO's and friends there. When the oil pressure went so low that the gauge turned RED, that alarmed me, I immediately declared emergency, (was with approach, was about to request FF), they cleared me direct to the airport. Slowed down, started an immediate descent, got the gear down, some flaps, did the GUMPS thing... and landed safely on Rwy 6 with winds 040@12G16, with no issues. Taxied off the first turn for a short taxi to the FBO.

    As the marshal had me do a 180 to park, the marshal reported that he saw a LOT of oil just dripping down on the nose wheel, down the gear doors and all down the belly...Shut down and jumped out, and oh what a mess it was.

    Called my mechanic, short distance from EKY, he jumped in his truck, brought a bunch of tools, rags, and a case of oil. While he was en route, he asked my to pop open the cowling and see if there was anything obvious...

    What I saw was extremely strange... the oil filter was so loose, it could be moved side to side with just one finger ! The safety wire was still in-tact ! It moved with the wire !

    Mechanic, came, and saw that was very odd, he took it apart, took out the filter, and the filter adapter, re-hooked it up, torqued it to the specified torque (by the book), and re-did the safety wire. Checked the oil level, it as barely touching the dip-stick, may be 1-2 quarts. (It was at 10 during pre-flight, and fresh new oil, from the annual). Added 9 quarts of new oil, dip-stick now showed 10, which is what I usually carry.

    Ran the engine, no leaks, no smell, everything looked good. Decided to call ground, tower and make it back to home field, EKY a very short distance away. Took off, and had an uneventful, great flight back. All the gauges were in green, oil pressure in the normal range, temps good and no smell of oil or any smoke.

    Put it back in the hangar and the mechanic drove in right about then... (yes you can drive from BHM to EKY in about the same time you can fly.. allowing for taxi, run-up, tower, fly run way heading, and then turn on course etc etc)

    He opened up the cowling and SURPRISE SURPRISE.... !!! the dang filter had MOVED aside by about 5-10 degrees from where had tightened it. and it WAS NOT LOOSE .THIS TIME .. couldn't move it with much hand pressure... VERY puzzled as to how it could have moved and still remain tight ! NO leaks or anything... just had moved itself !!!

    He is very intrigued....

    Any thoughts ? I will try and post a small video clip and a few pictures.

    Phew FIRST in-flight emergency... I THINK i did okay, my radio calls were shoddy at best !

    Trying to sleep but can't !
     
  2. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    When you say "side to side" do you mean it could be rotated or was it able to be moved laterally side to side? Your post is not clear.

    If you mean in both cases it rotated in CCW (removal) direction, I am having a hard time believing a properly torqued and safety wired filter could move that much. That's what the safety wire is there to prevent.

    Or is the entire housing (oil filter adapter on the engine?) to which the safety wire is anchored rotating?

    BTW, nice job on dealing with the emergency, identifying the issue, noting severity and dealing with it decisively.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2021
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  3. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Tempest/FM OIL FILTER ADAPTER? Happens frequently.
     
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  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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  5. Pugs

    Pugs Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Sounds like you did just fine. After saying "declaring an emergency" everything else is optional except getting safe on deck. :D
     
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  6. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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  7. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude Gone West

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    +1

    You declared an emergency and got on the ground safely. Great job! Everything outside of that is just style points. :)



    Wayne
     
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  8. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    Yes, my post isn't too clear, but yes, it rotated on the lateral axis, not the filter itself as in turning CCW. Looks like the entire housing along with the safety wire turned. I have a video of this, the file is in native iOs MOV format, will try and upload here for clarity.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
  9. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    Hey ! I hear ya ... speaking of style points, I had just installed two new LED landing lights, (wig-wag lights) and had turned them on, so yes I did come in somewhat of a style ;) The line guy at the FBO also mentioned it !
     
  10. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    Whoa ... surprising my mechanic was befuddled !
     
  11. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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  12. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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  13. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    Here is a short video describing the situation...
     
  14. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Exactly.

    "...Oil leaks from adapters have led to at least 11 accidents involving three fatalities and five serious injuries since 2004, the NTSB said in a Safety Recommendation Report..."


    Yikes!
     
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  15. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    You are welcome. I came across this a few months ago and dismissed it as I have a Continental IO-360 and it referenced IO-470. Had to go back and dig it up again.
     
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  16. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When one removes the oil filter, it’s very easy to apply “torque”
     
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  17. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ... to the base where. When I changed the oil, I was always aware to not let the torque I w was using to remove the filter, to be applied to the base of the adapter. Ask me how I know?
     
  18. Tokirbymd

    Tokirbymd Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What airplane? Your username suggested a pa32 but those are lycoming and this is a continental. Also, just up the road from you at MDQ, used to fly out of EKY years ago.
     
  19. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He states at the beginning of his post BE-35, IO-470
     
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  20. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    Hey there ! 1959 Bonanza K-35 now. Used to have piper six - 260 and then a 1980 Saratoga for a while, hence the username. By the way, I am a subscriber on your youtube channel, like your videos, saw the ones from Destin to MDQ and a few others. My son is based out of MDQ, he flies the club planes 6707H or 172KD, just got is Private, and is finishing up at UAH. I do come to MDQ once in a while. Ray and Donna have been incredibly helpful and of course Marti, she's been a life saver. Next time, I'm there I'll look you up.
     
  21. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    As someone suggested, downloaded flight data from the MVP-50, and plotted this graph of RPM, MP and Oil Pressure... Looks like all hell broke loose just at the final landing, taxi and shutdown. There was no oil dripping along the taxiway or at touch down point and roll out area. The profuse leaking began when I turned around and parked at the FBO's ramp. On the graph, I marked where my best guess is for run up, mag check, take off and descent & landing. (There were some real outliers, one-offs of values like 218 psi for pressure and 0 for RPM, I think they were noise?, noticed the same on AMPS too, there were numbers like 379, 243, 100 Amps etc, very momentary spikes... then settled down to normal values. (amps not shown here).

    Left axis - RPM, right axis Oil pressure (psi) and MP in Inches.

    graph1.jpg
     
  22. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    I suspect you may get a call from the local FSDO reference the emergency. Make sure you had an entry in the engine log before you took off at BHM.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2021
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  23. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    For comparison, this is the same graph for the flight back to base, after it was "fixed".

    graph2.jpg
     
  24. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pattern Altitude

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    Let us know if you confirm the oil filter adapter model. Tempest recently changed recommendation from a fiber and copper gasket to two copper gaskets.
     
  25. Pilot Steve

    Pilot Steve Pre-takeoff checklist

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    [QUOTE="Trying to sleep but can't ![/QUOTE]

    There is an AD out on those adapters. I had a similar event.



    When the AD came out I said to myself, that's it. And I replaced my Tempest adapter with an Airwolf remote filter that was a nightmare to get the hoses right. http://www.airwolf.com/aw/products/remote-mount-oil-filter-kits

    My event happened about four years ago and don't worry, it still freaks me out when I think about having to go through 8,000 feet of clouds losing oil.

    Steve
     
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  26. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach

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    I don't think the AD applies to all variants and manufacturers of these, and hence why some people are unaware of the issues here.

    The family 182L had a Cessna kit P/N installed back in late 1990s, that part number is specifically mentioned in an AD for the problem described in this thread.
     
  27. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    There is an AD out on those adapters. I had a similar event.



    When the AD came out I said to myself, that's it. And I replaced my Tempest adapter with an Airwolf remote filter that was a nightmare to get the hoses right. http://www.airwolf.com/aw/products/remote-mount-oil-filter-kits

    My event happened about four years ago and don't worry, it still freaks me out when I think about having to go through 8,000 feet of clouds losing oil.

    Steve[/QUOTE]

    Yikes ! Sounds very similar... the saving grace for me was, I was in VMC, it was a beautiful day and I was just 7 miles from the airport. Can't imagine being IMC.... you did well... my radio calls were .. "interesting"... Thanks for sharing.
     
  28. danhagan

    danhagan En-Route

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    Isn't the 1 quart remaining less than the minimum allowed by the engine manufacturer?
     
  29. Oldmanb777

    Oldmanb777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Great to have that under your belt and the first one done with. That said, one of the best pieces of advice ever. Declaring an emergency is oen of the best tools in your tool box. It opens up all kinds of immediate support from everywhere. AND the best thing is, you have total authority to do whatever you need to do to survive, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! If you ever think, "should I", then you absolutely should declare an emergency.
     
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  30. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    In the ongoing saga of this issue, I have been gone away on business, and out of town. My mechanic called and said he has since replaced BOTH the washers with crush-type washers on the adapter, re-torqued it.

    I am planning to take it out and test it - I plan on doing just doing a few take offs and landings right at the field and check for leak and movement on the filter adapter. What do y'all think ? Is this a good idea? How else would I get a confirmation that it is "fixed" ?

    Ideas?
     
  31. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    An update and thanks to all that chimed in and helped.
    Case closed finally on this saga.
     

    Attached Files:

  32. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    Based on 1 qt remaining and the oil pressure plot the engine should probably have a tear down and inspection. Expensive but do you want to fly behind that engine and always wonder?
     
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  33. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    The above recommendation is not just mine but also Lycomings. Without doing so makes the aircraft unsellable from a liability standpoint.
     
  34. Piper_Six

    Piper_Six Pre-Flight

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    Scheduled a meeting for a discussion and necessary action with the A&P. Thanks
     
  35. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    You might be able to use insurance to cover the cost but it’s a grey area.
     
  36. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I know of one local Bonanza that did an off field issues due to this and another that got extremely lucky and was on final when the engine seized.