The cause of a February plane crash in Dawson County has been released in a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
According to the report, the pilot of the Ercoupe 415 had recently purchased the single engine aircraft and was reportedly flying it out of Jefferson Feb. 9 back to his home airport in LaFayette when, 30 minutes after departure, the oil pressure began dropping.
The pilot attempted to turn the airplane toward Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport in Gainesville when the oil pressure decreased to zero.
The report states that the pilot "decided to perform a precautionary landing on a road," which turned out to be Goodson Road in Dawsonville.
The plane landed on a grass area to the left of the road before skidding across the road, hitting a tree and coming to rest in a ditch.
The pilot, who remains unidentified, was able to exit the airplane with minor injuries.
The two-seater plane was built in 1955 and was substantially damaged during the crash landing. The report details that an examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration found both wings damaged, with fuel leaking from the wings.
"Examination of the engine revealed a hole in the oil stump, and oil was noted coming from the crankcase breather tube," the report states. "In addition, there were approximately 3 quarts of oil in the engine. The engine was retained for further examination."
More details may be available in a final report from the NTSA.