Thursday, July 7, 2016

Champion 7EC, N9891B: Accident occurred July 06, 2016 in Placedo, Victoria County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Antonio, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N9891B

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA251
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 06, 2016 in Placedo, TX
Aircraft: CHAMPION 7EC, registration: N9891B
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 July 6, 2016, at 0830 central daylight time, a Champion 7EC, N9891B, landed in a corn field in Placedo, Texas, following a loss of engine power. The airline transport rated pilot was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged. The airplane was registered to and operated by a private individual under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Tanners Airport (9TE4), Port Lavaca, Texas, about 0820, with an intended destination of the Victoria Regional Airport (VCT), Victoria, Texas.

The pilot reported the airplane had not been flown for some time while the wings were removed and reskinned, and an annual inspection was completed. The pilot stated he was flying the airplane to VCT so a new weight and balance could be calculated.

The airplane was fueled with 20 gallons of fuel about 1 ½ weeks prior to the accident and it had about 1 hour of ground run time since the refueling. The pilot reported he ran the engine for about 10 minutes prior to takeoff and it operated normally. He also checked the magneto and carburetor heat operation during the engine run-up. The takeoff, climb, and initial cruise were normal. About 10 to 15 minutes into the flight, the engine sputtered. He applied carburetor heat, and checked the position of the fuel selector and the magnetos. The engine operation smoothed out and a short time later, the engine lost power.

The pilot stated that due to his low altitude, he didn't have a lot of choices on where to land, so he chose a corn field. During the forced landing, the right main landing gear was buckled, which resulted in damage to the airframe structural tubing.

A postaccident examination of the airplane was conducted by an inspector from the San Antonio Flight Standards District Office. The inspector reported the airplane had been in storage since 1996. The examination revealed the fuel line between the fuel strainer and the carburetor was deteriorated and leaking fuel. The fuel selector was rigged in such a way that it would only open about 25% of the way. Air pressure was applied to the fuel line from the fuel tanks and back pressure was noted. The fuel selector valve was manually opened by by-passing the fuel selector handle, the air flowed through to the fuel line. An old gasket was on the fuel strainer and debris was found in the fuel bowl. In addition, there was a large insect nest in engine compartment.

The airframe and powerplant mechanic with inspection authority who signed off on the last annual inspection reported the airplane owner assisted with the annual inspection in June 2016, and the mechanic did not verify the work.

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