NTSB Identification: CHI97LA171.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 18, 1997 in PORTAGE, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: ROE-WAYNE MUSTANG II, registration: N11WJ
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 experimental airplane was on its first test flight. A witness said he saw the airplane on a '...flat...' approach toward the landing runway. He said he saw the wings banking left and right shortly before the airplane pitched down and collided with trees. A second witness said he saw the airplane settling '...faster than [it] should.' The investigation revealed no anomalies with the flight control system, engine or ignition system that would prevent flight. Fuel was found in the fuselage fuel tank. No fuel was observed in the undamaged engine-driven or electric fuel pumps or in the fuel line between the fuel servo and flow divider. The fuselage fuel tank vent was mounted on the bottom of the fuselage with its angled end facing aft. The fuel servo was bench flow checked and it met the manufacturer's flow specifications. The engine-driven and electric fuel pumps were hooked up in-line between the fuel strainer and engine.

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

inadequate fuel system design by the owner/builder, which led to fuel starvation as the airplane was on a 'flat' approach to land. The pilot's inadequate flight planning was a factor, in that he did not fly the traffic pattern of this first test flight, in a manner that would allow for gliding to a landing, in the event of a loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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