NTSB Identification: LAX97LA114.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, February 25, 1997 in GALT, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/1997
Aircraft: HOAC Austria DV-20, registration: N194DV
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.

The airplane was manufactured in Austria, and had a United States normal airworthiness certificate. The pilot said the aircraft was in the takeoff initial climb when he smelled the strong odor of fuel. The fuel pressure decreased, and the engine quit. The pilot attempted to land in a field, but noticed a large number of cattle in the way. He then landed the aircraft early in soft soil, where the nose gear collapsed. An examination revealed that a fuel line quick disconnect fitting had come loose in the line between the fuel selector and the fuel pump. The fitting allowed access to a fuel filter, which required inspection during each 100-hour/annual inspection. According to the aircraft maintenance records, the line was last removed and reinstalled about 20 hours before the accident. An examining FAA inspector reported that the quick disconnect fitting was safety-wired in accordance with the maintenance instructions. The inspector further stated that even with the safety wire in place 'I was able to insert, lock, unlock and remove the coupler from the pump.' No fuel stains were noted in the area of the fuel pump.

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

a disconnect of a fuel line fitting, due to the manufacturer's inadequate design and/or lack of adequate installation procedure for replacement of the fuel filter; which resulted in fuel starvation, loss of engine power, and a forced landing. Soft terrain in the emergency landing area was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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