NTSB Identification: LAX95LA180.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 07, 1995 in LOS ANGELES, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/1995
Aircraft: DAVENPORT LONG-EZ, registration: N41BF
Injuries: 1 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
AFTER BEING CLEARED FOR A FLYBY, THE AIRCRAFT WAS OBSERVED OVER THE RUNWAY AT 20 TO 30 FEET AGL. A FEW SECONDS LATER, THE PILOT DECLARED AN ENGINE FAILURE. THE AIRCRAFT MADE A LEFT TURN SOUTHWEST OF THE AIRPORT STRIKING OVERHEAD ELECTRICAL LINES, SEVERING THE RIGHT WING, ROLLING RIGHT, AND CRASHING INTO A RESIDENCE. A POSTACCIDENT INSPECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT REVEALED THAT THE ELECTRIC FUEL BOOST PUMP AND THE MECHANICAL ENGINE- DRIVEN FUEL PUMP HAD BOTH BEEN REMOVED. THE DESIGNER HAD PREVIOUSLY TESTED A GRAVITY FUEL SYSTEM AND FOUND IT UNACCEPTABLE, SINCE THE HEIGHT OF THE FUEL TANKS ABOVE THE CARBURETOR DID NOT PROVIDE A SUFFICIENT FUEL PRESSURE. CONSTRUCTION PLANS STATED THAT THE FUEL SYSTEM IS 'DESIGNED TO REQUIRE TWO FUEL PUMPS', AND THAT THESE TWO FUEL PUMPS ARE A 'MANDATORY REQUIREMENT FOR SAFE OPERATION, AND THAT THERE IS NO ACCEPTABLE WAY AROUND THIS REQUIREMENT.' THE REQUIREMENT WAS REITERATED IN THE JULY, 1980, ISSUE OF THE CANARD PUSHER NEWSLETTER. THIS WAS THE FIRST FLIGHT FOLLOWING THE REMOVAL OF BOTH FUEL PUMPS BY THE PILOT/OWNER.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: fuel starvation due to a modification of the fuel system that rendered it incapable of maintaining adequate fuel pressure. The builder/pilot's lack of understanding of the fuel system was a factor in this accident. Full narrative available
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