NTSB Identification: ANC97LA036.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 22, 1997 in WASILLA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/29/1998
Aircraft: Williams KITFOX, registration: N9KF
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 a private airstrip after performing a stop-and-go landing in a home built airplane. The airplane climbed to about 200 ft above the ground, and the pilot heard a loud popping sound. The engine quit running, and a turn was made toward a nearby road. The pilot made an emergency landing on the road, but the right wing struck a tree during the landing roll. The engine was a modified automotive engine. The propeller was not directly bolted to the crankshaft of the engine. The design used a reduction gearbox between the crankshaft and the propeller. The design allowed the propeller to free-wheel when not being powered by the engine. The manufacturer indicated the fuel system used a throttle body injection that would operate on as little as 1/2 psi, and gravity flow from wing mounted fuel tanks was sufficient to allow the engine to operate at 75 percent power. The fuel system used an electric fuel pump to supply fuel pressure to the throttle body fuel injection for cold starting. The pump was electrically powered via an electrical jumper wire from the battery bus to the pump. The pilot indicated that during a postaccident examination of the airplane, he found the electrical jumper wire broken. The pilot also indicated an overly lean mixture condition would have resulted when the engine was operated at full power without the fuel pump.

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

a broken electrical wire, which resulted in an inoperative electrical fuel pump, an overly lean mixture, fuel starvation, and loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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