NTSB Identification: CHI95LA221.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 14, 1995 in CLINTON, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/1996
Aircraft: WSK PZL MIELEC M-18A DROMADER, registration: N168RA
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.
Although the pilot had accumulated 2,400 hours flight time in the type of airplane involved in this accident, he stated that he had never flown one with the fuel management system this one had. He stated that he did not read the flight manual. Because he had previously noted uneven fuel flow from the tanks, he did not think it unusual that the low fuel warning light on the left tank came on therefore he elected to continue flight. About fifteen minutes later the engine lost power and necessitated a forced landing. There was a handle in this airplane marked 'Overflow Fuel Valve - Pull.' The manual indicates that this valve is intended to prevent engine failure in flight, by equalizing the fuel between left and right fuel tanks. The pilot said he thought it was some sort of dump valve and made no attempt to use it. Other operators of this type of airplane stated that they had experienced fuel vent problems when they imported and assembled the airplane. This airplane had operated 1.7 hours prior to the accident flight and then operated 2.5 hours prior to the power loss.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's not using the flight manual and not understanding the fuel management for this particular airplane. Factors were the fuel system vent partial blockage and information unclear (phraseology) for the fuel management valve. Full narrative available
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