Thursday, June 16, 2016

Flight Design CTSW, N302CT: Accident occurred June 15, 2016 in Sealy, Austin County, Texas

Aviation Accident Final Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Factual Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:

Docket And Docket Items - National Transportation Safety Board:

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Houston FSDO-09

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA221 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 15, 2016 in Sealy, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/26/2017
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTSW HXB, registration: N302CT
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the initial climb on an instructional flight, the light sport airplane experienced a total loss of engine power. The flight instructor initiated a 180-degree turn back toward the airport; however, the airplane impacted trees to the right of the runway. Postaccident examination revealed  that the mechanical fuel pump diaphragm had deteriorated and was leaking fuel. A serviceable fuel pump was installed, and the engine operated normally and produced full power during a subsequent test run. 

The fuel pump was subject to a mandatory service bulletin (SB) issued by the manufacturer about 3 years before the accident. The SB required replacement of the fuel pump at the next scheduled maintenance due to instances of mechanical failure. Although the accident airplane had received three annual inspections between the issuance of the SB and the accident flight, the fuel pump was not replaced at any of these inspections. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
Failure of maintenance personnel to comply with the engine manufacturer’s mandatory service bulletin, which resulted in failure of the mechanical fuel pump diaphragm and a subsequent total loss of engine power.

On June 15, 2016, about 1430 central daylight time, a Flight Design GMBH CTSW HXB, N302CT, collided with trees during a forced landing at Gloster Aerodrome (1XA7), Houston, Texas. The student pilot and flight instructor both sustained minor injuries. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the student pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as an instructional flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight had just originated.

According to the flight instructor, the student pilot made the takeoff on runway 25. During the initial climb (about 500 feet AGL), the engine started running rough and lost all power. The instructor took control of the airplane and made a 180-degree turn back towards the airport. A forced landing to runway 07 was attempted but due to a strong tailwind, the airplane collided with trees to the right of the runway.

On October 20, under the auspices of a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the engine was examined at the facilities of South Mississippi Light Aircraft in Lucedale, Mississippi. A Rotax engine representative was also in attendance. Reportedly, the engine would not start on the first attempt. It was determined that the engine was not receiving fuel due to a leak in the fuel pump diaphragm. When an electric fuel pump on the engine test stand was turned on, fuel poured out of the fuel pump drain hole. Disassembly of the fuel pump confirmed that the rubber diaphragm had deteriorated and was leaking. When a serviceable fuel pump was installed, the engine operated normally and produced full power. No further anomalies were noted.

According to the engine logbook, Rotax Service Bulletin SB-912-053-UL (Replacement of fuel pump for Rotax Engine Type 912), dated April 13, 2007, had been complied with on May 24, 2006 (see page 5 of manual). However, Rotax Service Bulletin SB-912-063-UL (Replacement for fuel pumps for Rotax Engine Type 912), dated August 21, 2013, had not been performed. The fuel pump that was installed on the engine (part number 892 542, serial number 07.002314) was manufactured in 2009 and was affected by this service bulletin but it was not listed in the log book. The fuel pump was also affected by Bombardier's Recreational Products Maintenance Manual, requiring a mandatory replacement time of 5 years. Following the recommended replacement date of May 24, 2012, annual inspections of the engine were conducted on November 12, 2012, May 2, 2014, and June 6, 2016. A conditional engine examination was performed on June 13, 2015.

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