NTSB Identification: LAX97LA117.
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Accident occurred Monday, March 03, 1997 in ALPINE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/14/1997
Aircraft: Bellanca 8KCAB, registration: N5027F
Injuries: 2 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 pilots were conducting flight instructor training and practicing power on and power off aerodynamic stalls of the airplane. After performing a spin recovery during an uncoordinated stall, the engine lost power. The pilots were unable to get the engine restarted and forced landed the airplane on a road with a 90-degree turn. The airplane ground looped and struck a fence when the left wheel went into the soft shoulder while exiting the 90-degree turn. The engine had been recently overhauled during which time the airframe was stored. There were two previous occasions where the airplane's engine quit after the engine was reinstalled in the airframe. On the first occasion maintenance personnel increased the idle rpm, and on the second occasion they replaced the fuel servo, which had recently been overhauled with the engine. The engine was run on the airframe after the accident. There was no evidence of mechanical failure or malfunction found with the engine. Particle contamination was found in the fuel in the header tank. The inverted fuel vent was found to be over 50 percent obstructed at an elbow fitting with a solid material that covered the inlet. During the examination, another particle fell out of the elbow. The shape of the particle conformed to the shape of the unobstructed portion of the elbow inlet and the edge of the obstruction.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation caused by an obstruction in the fuel vapor return system. An additional causal finding is the failure of maintenance personnel to properly troubleshoot a discrepancy with the fuel system.

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