NTSB Identification: FTW97LA240.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 29, 1997 in ARDMORE, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/1998
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) ERCOUPE 415-C, registration: N2308H
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.
During a forced landing following a loss of engine power, the airplane collided with a power line and then impacted the ground. The pilot reported that he noticed the engine was not producing full power during the initial takeoff climb; however, he elected to proceed on the cross country flight. The engine continued to lose power, and about 30 minutes after takeoff, the power available was no longer sufficient to maintain altitude. The pilot attempted to land in the median of an interstate highway and did not see the power line crossing the interstate. Examination of the airplane revealed that the mixture control arm on the carburetor was not hooked up to the cockpit control cable and was free to move. However, the mixture control system on this model carburetor does not incorporate an idle cutoff, and the pilot reported that prior to the accident, he had flown the airplane 58 hours with the mixture control inoperative. No other discrepancies were noted which would have resulted in a loss of engine power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain clearance from the power line. Factors were his improper decision to continue the flight after he noted a loss of engine power during initial takeoff climb and the loss of engine power for an undetermined reason. Full narrative available
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