NTSB Identification: ATL94LA054.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 26, 1994 in SALUDA, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1994
Aircraft: HELIO HE391B, registration: N9050R
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.

BEFORE THE DEPARTURE, THE OWNER COMPLETED EXTENSIVE MAINTENANCE ON THE AIRPLANE WHICH INCLUDED THE INSTALLATION OF REMANUFACTURED FUEL TANKS. SINCE THE AIRPLANE HAD NOT BEEN FLOWN FOR SEVERAL YEARS, THE PILOT REQUESTED AND WAS ISSUED A SPECIAL FLIGHT PERMIT FOR THIS FLIGHT. DURING THE FLIGHT, THE PILOT NOTICED THAT FUEL WAS FEEDING FASTER FROM ONE TANK. APPROXIMATELY TWO HOURS INTO THE VISUAL FLIGHT, THE PILOT EXPERIENCED A REDUCTION IN ENGINE POWER, FOLLOWED BY A COMPLETE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE AT THE ACCIDENT SITE DISCLOSED THAT FUEL LEAKED FROM AROUND THE LEFT FUEL CAP; THE EXAMINATION ALSO REVEALED A WORN FUEL CAP LOCKING LUG, AND TWO DETERIORATED FUEL CAP SEALS. ACCORDING TO TWO OPERATORS OF THE HELIO AIRCRAFT, WHEN THE FUEL CAPS LEAK IN-FLIGHT, FUEL WILL NOT GRAVITY FEED TO THE HOPPER TANK AND SUBSEQUENTLY THE ENGINE WILL BE STARVED OF FUEL.

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

THE PILOT'S AND MECHANIC'S FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY INSPECT THE AIRCRAFT FUEL SYSTEM WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL STARVATION.

Full narrative available

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