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OIL LEAK RESULTS IN FORCED LANDING
From CP64, Page 10 (July, 1990)
"LUCKY YOU FLY A LONG-EZ - AGAIN!
This is to relate to you an incident that
occurred last Saturday, May 21.
I was flying PP-ZAD en route to a fly-in in the south of Brazil at 8500' under positive control area and enjoying, in advance, my participation in the fly-in and the amazing performance of the Navaid Devices autopilot.
I suddenly smelled burning oil and, looking back, I saw some smoke in the cockpit and two trails of oil coming out of the oil filler door. I immediately reduced power to minimum and began to look for a place to land.
The only airport close by was under rain and no safe approach could be attempted due to mountainous surroundings.
Losing altitude slowly (what a splendorous glider is the Long!), it soon became apparent that the only safe place was a new open-to-traffic freeway with not much traffic on it. After some low passes to make clear my intentions (oil pressure was at this time around 40 PSI down from 80 PSI), I was able to make one of my best landings, not even touching the brakes and with only 20 PSI oil pressure even taxied one more mile to an adequate place clear of the traffic to park.
Some 5 quarts of oil poured from the cowling when I lowered the nose. Next day we put in new oil, ran the engine and we observed the oil coming out from the hose connecting the oil cooler to the engine. A new hose was put on, engine checked carefully and I departed form the freeway again to my home airport.
Now, this airplane is very special to me and no efforts nor expenses were spared in all phases of its construction and choice of parts which had to be always of the best quality, not bothering with prices. Even a brand new engine was ordered from Lycoming.
When it was time to choose the hoses, I decided to use the "stainless steel hose assemblies" as advertised on page 94 of Aircraft Spruce's catalog (very expensive) instead of the regular rubber material. These hoses were made to order for the sizes I supplied (copy of invoice enclosed).
I am sending the failed hose to Jim at Aircraft Spruce to have it inspected by the supplier and I also already substituted all other hoses, even those carrying fuel, with standard Aeroquip shielded hoses. These hoses were not abused in any way and were installed by a certified mechanic of our air club.
I hope that this may help any other builder who may decide to use these hoses in their airplane.
Thanks again for a wonderful airplane that is making me more confident every day in its capabilities and anticipating my hours of safe, enjoyable flying (not quite my wife's opinion).
Next day I was on a national coverage TV network - try to imagine answering all those phone calls!
Andre J. Deberdt"