NTSB Identification: FTW97LA263.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 11, 1997 in BRAZORIA, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Bronner STEEN SKYBOLT, registration: N773HD
Injuries: 2 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 Skybolt experimental airplane was flying east of the airport when the 'engine start[ed] missing.' The aircraft entered downwind for runway 11 at the Eagle Air Park Airport. The pilot reported that while on crosswind, about 12 minutes after takeoff, he smelled 'raw fuel, looked down on floor board, [and] saw fuel.' The fuel pressure which was normally 30 psi, began to fluctuate 'radically,' and the engine 'cut out.' The pilot turned on the electric fuel pump, and the engine 'came back up to power.' After turning final, the engine started 'cutting in and out, [the] fuel pressure could not be kept up,' and the engine lost power. Unable to reach a suitable area, the pilot landed the airplane in trees; the airplane then 'hit [the] ground flat.' Prior to the accident flight, the pilot fueled the airplane with 15 gallons of 100 octane low lead aviation fuel. An FAA inspector's examination of the fuel system revealed no apparent signs of rupture or lack of integrity, and there was no fuel in the fuel tank. After the airplane was moved another FAA inspector pumped the wobble pump and could smell fuel. The pilot/owner found that one of the hoses that was connected to the wobble pump, which was located under the pilot's seat, had been leaking fuel at its clamp. Fuel stains were found on the fabric aft of the wobble pump.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: a fuel leak at a wobble pump fuel hose clamp, which resulted in loss of fuel and fuel exhaustion. A related factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing. Full narrative available
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