NTSB Identification: NYC95LA115.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 20, 1995 in MINERAL, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/21/1996
Aircraft: PITCHER W-8, registration: N13PE
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 PILOT DEPARTED IN THE HOMEBUILT EXPERIMENTAL AIRPLANE THAT HE PURCHASED 2 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. WITNESSES OBSERVED THAT THE AIRPLANE TOOK OFF AND THAT THE ENGINE LOST POWER DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB. THE AIRPLANE TURNED LEFT, NOSED DOWN, AND IMPACTED THE GROUND. EXAMINATION REVEALED NO PREIMPACT FAILURE OF THE ENGINE. NO FUEL WAS DETECTED IN CARBURETOR, AND THE ENGINE WAS NOT EQUIPPED WITH A MECHANICAL FUEL PUMP. THE ELECTRIC FUEL PUMP MOUNTED ON THE FIREWALL CONTAINED FUEL, AND WHEN TESTED, OPERATED NORMALLY. EXAMINATION OF THE COCKPIT REVEALED THAT OF THE FOUR SWITCHES AND FOUR FUSES, ONLY THE MASTER SWITCH WAS LABELED. THE MASTER SWITCH FUSE FILAMENT WAS OBSERVED TO BE BROKEN.

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

an electrical system problem that resulted in a blown (failed) fuze and an inoperative electric fuel pump, which in turn resulted in fuel starvation and loss of engine power; and failure of the pilot to maintain adequate airspeed which resulted in an inadvertent stall.

Full narrative available

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