Monday, August 29, 2016

Rans Coyote S-4, N8024J: Accident occurred August 27, 2016 in Clarksville, Red River County, Texas

FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Dallas FSDO-05

NTSB Identification: CEN16LA339
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, August 27, 2016 in Clarksville, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/18/2017
Aircraft: RANS COYOTE S 4, registration: N8024J
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

The student pilot was conducting a local, solo, personal flight. He reported that, while flying over his home about 1,700 ft above ground level, the engine “sputtered,” and the tachometer decreased to between 1,300 and 1,500 rpm. The student turned the airplane around and proceeded back toward the airport; however, the airplane continued to descend and was not able to reach the airport. The student conducted a forced landing, and the airplane landed hard in a field. 

A postaccident examination of the engine revealed that the fuel pump impulse line was deteriorated and had disconnected during the accident flight. The carburetor fuel bowl was dry with no evidence of fuel. The most recent engine maintenance was completed about 9 months before the accident, and the fuel pump impulse line was not mentioned in the logbook entry. The accident is consistent with a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, which resulted from a deteriorated and disconnected fuel line. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:

The total loss of engine power due to a deteriorated and disconnected fuel line, which resulted in fuel starvation and a subsequent hard, off-field landing. 

On August 27, 2016, about 1500 central daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Rans Coyote S-4 airplane, N8024J, experienced a loss of engine power and performed a forced landing in a field near the Clarksville/Red River County Airport-J D Trissell Field, (LBR), Clarksville, Texas. The student rated pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained serious injuries and the airplane sustained substantial damage. 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 at the accident location and no flight plan had been filed. The local flight departed LBR about 1445. 

The pilot reported that he planned to fly over his home and then return to the airport. While flying above his home about 1,700 ft above ground level (agl), the engine "sputtered" and decreased to 1,300 to 1,500 RPM. The pilot turned the airplane around and proceeded back toward the airport. The airplane continued to descend and the pilot noted that with the available power and altitude, he could not make it back to the airport. He then selected a large field surrounded by trees for the forced landing. The airplane cleared the trees and landed hard in the field. 

The responding Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector reported that the airplane came to rest 0.55 nautical miles northwest of LBR runway 17. Ground impact marks were observed about 50 ft in front of the airplane. Continuity of all flight controls was confirmed. The fuselage frame was bent and twisted and the fabric cover was torn. The left wing was distorted upward near the wing strut attachment point. The landing gear was collapsed. The fuel tank behind the seat was at least ½ full and the header tank was full. The fuel selector valve was set to OFF, the mixture control was reduced half way, and the throttle control was full forward. 

The airplane has been retained for further examination.

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