NTSB Identification: CHI96FA342.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 19, 1996 in KALAMAZOO, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/05/2000
Aircraft: GRUMMAN F9F-2, registration: NX72WP
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, shortly after takeoff, about 200 feet above ground level, he felt a sudden deceleration and was thrown forward in his seat. He also noted that the airplane would not accelerate beyond 120 knots indicated airspeed, which he attributed to a problem with the pitot system, and that he decided to return to land. He said that while on the downwind leg, he retarded the throttle to idle, but the engine rpm reduced to 65 percent instead of the normal 28 percent. At this time, a red light illuminated in the cockpit, and the pilot stated that he believed this to be the warning light for the Emergency Fuel System. He said that as a precaution, he decided to shut the engine down and do a power-off landing. The pilot reported that he aimed for the first third to one-half-the-way down the runway, and he landed 'long and hot.' He was unable to stop on the remaining runway and steered the airplane on to a grassy area to the right side of the runway. He indicated that he had previously experienced anomalies with the fuel control unit and fuel pump; however, postaccident testing of these components did not reproduce the conditions reported by the pilot on the accident flight. Except for a slightly higher than normal idle (36 percent), the fuel controller performed satisfactorily. The airspeed indicator was damaged and could not be functionally tested.

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

The overrun of the runway as a result of the pilot's misjudgment of speed and distance because of an unreliable airspeed indication; reason for the unreliable airspeed indication was undetermined. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's perception of a power interruption and throttle/power control not being available for undetermined reasons.

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