NTSB Identification: ATL97LA045.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 05, 1997 in AIKENS, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/30/1998
Aircraft: Bellanca 17-30, registration: N7312V
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 experienced a loss of engine power en route to his destination. He initiated an emergency descent for a forced landing. The airplane collided with two trees in the intended landing area. According to the pilot, the airplane had a fuel endurance of 4.8 hours, and he had flown about 3.0 hours since the last refueling. Examination of the engine assembly disclosed that there was a fuel leak around the shaft in the metering unit. The nature of the leak was a steady stream, such that, it was not possible to flow test the unit. Smaller leaks were also found in the fuel pump from the shaft seal and the adjustable orifice o-ring. The control linkage on the fuel metering unit and the throttle body were excessively worn. No fuel was recovered from the fuel system during on-site examination.

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

excessive wear of the fuel metering unit/shaft, which resulted in a fuel leak and premature exhaustion of the fuel supply.

Full narrative available

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