The Engine Or Propeller Began To Vibrate, And The Pilot Elected To Return

Location: St. Louis, MO Accident Number: CEN23LA061
Date & Time: December 5, 2022, 17:26 Local Registration: N602TG
Aircraft: Orlican S R O M-8 Eagle Injuries: 2 Minor
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Personal

On December 5, 2022, about 1726 central standard time, an Orlican S R O M-8 Eagle airplane, N602TG, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near St. Louis, Missouri. The pilot and pilot-rated passenger sustained minor injuries. The airplane was operated as a Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot-rated passenger, the purpose of the flight was to perform a “test” flight following unknown maintenance actions to troubleshoot a reported engine or propeller vibration. Prior to takeoff, the engine run-up and other checks were normal. After takeoff, the pilot completed one traffic pattern circuit and departed to a designated practice area about 12 miles from the airport to perform other maneuvers. While in the practice area at 2,000 ft above ground level, the engine or propeller began to vibrate, and the pilot elected to return to the airport. During the return, the engine would not maintain RPMs. While on final approach, a higher than anticipated sink rate developed, and the airplane touched down hard onto the runway surface. During the touchdown, the nose landing gear separated, and the airplane departed the runway surface and flipped over. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the empennage and rudder.

The airplane was retained for further examination.