Sunday, March 24, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Partial): Lancair Legacy, N60JN, accident occurred March 08, 2018 near Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (KTPL), Temple, Bell 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 Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Aviation Accident Data Summary - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Temple, TX
Accident Number: CEN18LA118
Date & Time: 03/08/2018, 1045 CST
Registration: N60JN
Aircraft: Bereznak Lancair Legacy
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (partial)
Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Business 


After leveling off at 9,500 ft, the airline transport pilot switched the fuel selector from the right to the left fuel tank of the experimental, amateur-built airplane. He noticed a change in the sound of the engine, a decline in fuel flow, and a partial loss of engine power. He switched back to the right fuel tank and turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, but this did not correct the problem. Realizing that he would not be able to glide to a nearby airport, the pilot made a forced landing in a plowed field. Postaccident examination of the engine revealed no discrepancies that would have precluded normal operation. The fuel selector was found separated just below the selector handle, and the selector valve was found in the 90-percent-closed position. The fuel selector assembly showed extensive wear. It is likely that the fuel selector separated with the valve in an intermediate position when the pilot changed the fuel selector handle position, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the nearly closed fuel valve. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The failure of the fuel selector valve in a nearly closed position, which resulted in a partial loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.


Fuel selector/shutoff valve - Fatigue/wear/corrosion (Cause)
Fuel selector/shutoff valve - Not serviced/maintained (Factor)

Personnel issues
Scheduled/routine inspection - Maintenance personnel (Factor)

Factual Information

On March 8, 2018, about 1045 central standard daylight time, a Bereznak Lancair Legacy, N60JN, experienced a partial loss of engine power while in cruise flight at 9,500 feet, and the pilot made a forced landing in a plowed field one-mile northwest of Draughon-Miller Central Texas Regional Airport (TPL), Temple, Texas. The pilot sustained minor injuries. His passenger was not injured. The airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by a, Airborne Legacy, LLC, Austin, Texas, under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at and about the time of the accident. A visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed for the flight that originated at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Austin, Texas, and was destined for Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL), Dallas, Texas.

In his accident report the pilot said that after levelling off at 9,500 feet, he switched from the right to the left fuel tank to maintain balance. He noticed a change in the sound of the engine and a decline in fuel flow (the airplane was not equipped with a fuel pressure gauge). He switched back to the right fuel tank and turned on the auxiliary fuel pump, but this did not correct the problem. During the approach to TPL, manifold pressure was registering but airspeed was decreasing. The pilot advanced the throttle slightly, then applied full throttle. The engine did not respond. Realizing he could not glide to TPL, the pilot made a forced landing in a plowed field.

On April 4, 2018, the engine was examined at the facilities of Air Salvage of Dallas (ASOD), Lancaster, Texas. The engine was intact, undamaged, and remained attached to the airframe. No discrepancies were found that would have prohibited the production of rated horsepower.

The fuel selector handle was separated just below the handle selector. The two "U" joints and the drive shaft were intact. The selector valve was found in the 90 percent closed position. The fuel selector assembly was extensively worn. 

History of Flight

Loss of engine power (partial) (Defining event)

Emergency descent
Off-field or emergency landing

Landing-landing roll
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Commercial; Private
Age: 57, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 2 Without Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 03/08/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 03/29/2017
Flight Time:  3900 hours (Total, all aircraft), 185 hours (Total, this make and model), 3650 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 11 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: Bereznak
Registration: N60JN
Model/Series: Lancair Legacy
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2008
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: L2K-263
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 05/02/2017, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 2700 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 34 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 310 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Continental
ELT: Installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: IO-550-N
Registered Owner: Airborne Legacy, LLC
Rated Power: 310 hp
Operator: Airborne Legacy, LLC
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KTPL, 682 ft msl
Observation Time: 1051 CST
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 135°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 14°C / -1°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots, 150°
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.26 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration:
Departure Point: Austin, TX (KAUS)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Dallas, TX (KDAL)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 1030 CST
Type of Airspace: Class E

Airport Information

Airport: Draughon-Miller Central TX Reg (TPL)
Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 682 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Minor, 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 31.000000, 97.000000 (est)


  1. Kathryn, thanks for the great example of the concern we were chatting about the other day. Switching tanks carries a small risk of failing the engine, so make sure you have an acceptable and realistically achievable landing site identified before you do it.

  2. I recall a night currency flight with my CFII over Pittsburgh at 2,000'agl on the way to KAGC and I switched the tanks in the PA28-161 and I caught hell. I should have waited a few more minutes until we were over KAGC just in case! That's crazy about the fuel selector failing in such a low time plane(370 TTAF). Now I'm afraid to even fool with the fuel selector valve. I bet a large number of power losses resulting in crashes are either due to fuel selector valves OR carb ice. Be safe up/out there.

  3. My flight instructor taught me 5 or 10 miles inbound, switch fuel tanks. Works just fine for my aircraft and my aviator skills ;)

    Accident/Incident-free pilot with many, many filled logbooks.

  4. Report states airplane was “destroyed”. Doesn’t look too bad sitting in that field, wonder what makes it destroyed ??

  5. I am the new owner of the wreck, I bought it from the insurance co, just have to go get it, I have been dreaming of owning a Lancair for over 30 years, looks like this one will make a great project, hope to get her going again. Has a Supercharged IO-550 should cruise upwards of 270 Knots at altitude, what a machine, sad to see her in this condition, but overall, just grateful that the pilot did a good job putting it down safely, could have been a whole lot worse. I hope the damage isn't to bad.
    Good Luck and safe travels to all of us our there!

  6. Congrats on your purchase. Best of luck.

  7. Registration History

    Date Owner Location

  8. Live Flight Tracker (N60JN)
    Flight ✈ N60JN ✈ 08-Mar-2018 ✈ KAUS - KTPL

    Thu 11:41:43 30.4783 -97.4617 ↑ 11° 221 254 9,500 Level Houston Center
    Thu 11:42:32 30.5306 -97.4489 ↑ 12° 224 258 9,600 98 Climbing Houston Center
    Thu 11:42:44 30.5422 -97.4467 ↑ 9° 237 273 9,600 Level Houston Center
    Thu 11:43:35 30.5953 -97.4336 ↑ 12° 233 268 9,600 -98 Descending Houston Center
    Thu 11:43:45 30.6119 -97.4306 ↑ 9° 239 275 9,500 -97 Descending Houston Center
    Thu 11:44:37 30.6622 -97.4211 ↑ 9° 240 276 9,500 59 Climbing Houston Center
    Thu 11:47:08 30.8305 -97.3828 ↑ 11° 240 276 9,700 67 Climbing Fort Worth Center
    Thu 11:47:35 30.8583 -97.3775 ↑ 9° 243 280 9,700 Level Fort Worth Center
    Thu 11:48:46 30.9394 -97.3581 ↑ 12° 240 276 9,700 Level Houston Center
    Thu 11:49:48 31.0067 -97.3428 ↑ 11° 240 276 9,700 -145 Descending Houston Center
    Thu 11:50:50 31.0550 -97.3322 ↑ 11° 172 198 9,400 -1,065 Descending Houston Center
    Thu 11:51:52 31.0886 -97.3258 ↑ 9° 129 148 7,500 -2,177 Descending Houston Center
    Thu 11:52:54 31.1300 -97.3339 ↑ 351° 142 163 4,900 -2,534 Descending Houston Center
    Thu 11:53:48 31.1697 -97.3669 ↖ 325° 163 188 2,600 -2,261 Descending Fort Worth Center
    Thu 11:54:03 31.1772 -97.3756 ← 315° 170 196 2,300 -1,161 Descending Fort Worth Center
    Thu 11:54:50 31.1947 -97.3936 ↖ 319° 143 165 1,400 -1,149 Descending Fort Worth Center