FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oakland FSDO-27
NTSB Identification: WPR16LA122
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, May 23, 2016 in Lodi, CA
Aircraft: RANS S 5, registration: N481TJ
Injuries: 1 Minor.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On May 23, 2016, about 0945 Pacific daylight time, a Rans S-5, N481TJ, sustained substantial damage when it impacted the ground at Lodi Airport (1O3), Lodi, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane was registered to, and operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight that originated from 1O3 at 0930.
The pilot reported that after takeoff he climbed to about 400 feet above ground level (agl) and began a right-hand turn. While in the turn, he encountered a several bumps which he described as air pockets, and subsequently, the engine stopped producing power. In addition, he felt that during the turn, the seat had shifted to the left. The pilot executed an emergency landing north of the airport. After he landed, he noted that the fuel pump was spinning faster than normal. However, as he got out of the seat, the fuel pump slowed down. The pilot inspected the engine and the fuel lines and found no abnormalities. He took off again to return to the airport.
During the approach, at about 200-250 feet agl, the seat shifted to the left and the engine stopped producing power. The pilot initiated a forced landing; however, the airplane impacted terrain in a nose-down attitude, which resulted in a substantial damage to the fuselage.