KILLEEN, Texas (AP) – A mechanic found metal particles in an oil filter while servicing a small aircraft before it crashed in central Texas, killing its pilot, federal investigators reported Tuesday.
In a preliminary reportsaid the National Transportation Safety Board, the mechanic of the Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport in Temple, told the pilot two days before the July 4 crash that the Focke-Wulf Piaggio FWP-149D should not fly until Tests the source of the metal could detect particles. The report says the mechanic cleaned the oil filter, sent samples of metal fragments to a lab for analysis, and put clean oil into the engine’s crankcase.
Meanwhile, the pilot said he would only fly to his base at Skylark Field Airport, east of Killeen and 20 miles southwest of Temple Airport, and the plane took off after a satisfactory engine start.
NTSB said that despite the mechanic’s assumption that the aircraft would remain at Skylark Field, it was flying 95 miles (153 kilometers) back to Skylark Field from New Braunfels Regional Airport on July 4 when the pilot reported that the aircraft engine had failed . The plane crashed and burned about three miles from the Skylark Field runway, killing pilot Bradley Guy Marzari, 60, of Belton.
Ther NTSB said test results on the metal particles are pending.