Friday, April 26, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): SkyStar Kitfox Series 5, N533RC; accident occurred October 14, 2015 near Goheen Airport (W52), Battle Ground, Clark County, Washington

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Battle Ground, WA
Accident Number: WPR16LA011
Date & Time: 10/14/2015, 1145 PDT
Registration: N533RC
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of engine power (total)
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On October 14, 2015, about 1145 Pacific daylight time, an experimental amateur built Christopher Kitfox 5 airplane, N533RC, collided with a fence following a loss of engine power during the takeoff climb from a private grass strip near Battle Ground, Washington. The private pilot and passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, after take off from his grass airstrip, he made a left 45°  climbing turn when the engine began to run rough, then it regained full power. The airplane climbed to about 300 ft above ground when the engine ran rough again, then lost power. The pilot realized that he did not have sufficient altitude to make it to nearby Goheen Airport (W52), Battle Ground so he turned back toward the departure airstrip as he knew there were multiple open fields in the area. As he maneuvered around trees and fences for a forced landing, the airplane subsequently collided with a fence and nosed over, coming to rest inverted.

The pilot stated that he had drained fuel during the preflight check and reported no water present; however, he believed that there may have been a "slug of water" in the fuel line.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the engine. The pilot had fueled the airplane from a nearby gas station. The fuel is placed in a plastic cylindrical gas container and then the airplane is refueled. A visual inspection of the fuel revealed no contamination. The sample of fuel recovered from the filter housing was opaque and cloudy compared to the sample taken from the airplane's header tank. The FAA inspector reported that after cleaning the oil-soaked spark plugs, and installing a fuel filter, he checked the fuel pressure of both pumps at 48 psi, which fell in the normal operating range of the fuel pump. The engine was then started and ran normally, except for a vibration, which was attributed to the broken propeller blades.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 51, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: 4-point
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 06/08/2014
Occupational Pilot:
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/05/2013
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 288 hours (Total, all aircraft), 185 hours (Total, this make and model)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Registration: N533RC
Model/Series: KITFOX  5
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2001
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 0127
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 06/09/2015, Condition
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection: 27 Hours
Engines: Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 342 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Firewall Forward
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: CAM 125
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 125 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held:None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: SPB, 58 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 250 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1153 PDT
Direction from Accident Site: 17°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 8 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: /
Wind Direction: 20°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: /
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 16°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Battle Ground, WA (NA)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Battle Ground, WA (NA)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1145 PDT
Type of Airspace:

Airport Information

Airport: Private Strip (NA)
Runway Surface Type: Grass/turf
Airport Elevation: 480 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: NA
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 2000 ft / 40 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude:  45.838333, -122.546667 (est)

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