NTSB Identification: LAX94LA273.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 03, 1994 in STOCKTON, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/07/1994
Aircraft: ADAMS THORPE T-18, registration: N51079
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 accident flight was the second flight of the aircraft since certification on April 6, 1994. The aircraft has a Mazda NSU wankle rotary automobile engine installed and is operated on automotive gasoline. The pilot was on initial climbout after takeoff when the engine suddenly quit. The pilot was unable to make the runway and executed a forced landing in a field near the airport. The aircraft nosed over after encountering soft, rough terrain. The pilot reported that the fuel lines and fuel pump do not have any thermal shielding and he believes the engine failure was due to vapor lock.

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

A VAPOR LOCK INDUCED ENGINE FAILURE DUE TO INADEQUATE THERMAL SHIELDING OF THE FUEL PUMP AND LINES. SOFT TERRAIN IN THE LANDING AREA WAS A FACTOR.

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