Monday, July 24, 2017

World Aircraft Company Spirit, N65XT: Accident occurred August 07, 2015 in Granbury, Hood County, Texas

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas
World Aircraft Company; Paris, Tennessee

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

NTSB Identification: CEN15LA355
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, August 07, 2015 in Granbury, TX
Aircraft: WORLD AIRCRAFT CO SPIRIT, registration: N65XT
Injuries: 2 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 August 7, 2015, at 1140 central daylight time, a World Aircraft Company Spirit, N65XT, impacted a fence and terrain during a forced landing to a field near Granbury, Texas. The airplane experienced a total loss of engine power after a series of circling left turns. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The private pilot and a passenger were uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight that was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The flight originated from Kickapoo Downtown Airport (CWC), Wichita Falls, Texas, at 1030 and was destined to Pecan Plantation Airport (0TX1), Granbury, Texas.

The pilot stated that when the airplane was about 4 miles from the destination airport, he began to make left turns to allow an inbound Piper airplane that was in the area to approach and land at the airport. As the pilot returned to an inbound course from the left turns, the engine "sputtered and shook" and the pilot made an immediate left turn from above an area that was forest to an area that was pasture. The engine then "sputtered and stopped." The pilot stated that he pushed the throttle control to the full open position, "hit the ignition," and the engine restarted. The engine ran "smoothly," and the pilot retuned the airplane back onto course to 0TX1. The pilot made a radio transmission reporting a rough running engine and "moments later" the engine "shuddered" but was still running. The pilot then made a left turn to an "open" area of terrain and the engine "sputtered and stopped." The pilot then performed a forced landing to a field. The touch down on the field was "smooth but fast" and during the rollout the pilot saw for the first time a barbed wire fence in the direction of the rollout. The pilot was unable to slow the airplane with full application of wheel brakes due to foot-tall grass and cactus, which were "like stopping on wet grass."

The pilot stated that his safety recommendation was: "Always be sure to turn on the fuel pump when the engine runs rough or stops."

The wreckage was initially recovered and moved to Air Salvage of Dallas. Lancaster, Texas but was later moved to World Aircraft Company, Paris, Tennessee where an examination of the wreckage could be performed. The examination was performed under the supervisor of a Federal Aviation Administration Aviation Safety Inspector, Airworthiness from the Memphis Flight Standards District Office. The World Aircraft Company party representative indicated that there are two one-way fuel valves in the system located at the wing root (attach points). One is on a 5/16-inch line, and the other is 3/8-inch line. They were designed to allow fuel flow in one-direction to preclude the fuel venting on the ramp. Following the circumstances of the accident, continual banking in circle, World Aircraft Company modified the system by replacing the smaller of the two valves with a union in its place. This will allow the fuel to flow back into the tank, thus enabling the ability to equalize fuel distribution.

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