NTSB Identification: CHI97LA267.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 23, 1997 in COOPERSVILLE, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Wsk Pzl Mielec M-18A, registration: N178RA
Injuries: 1 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.

Following an agricultural flight, the pilot noticed that the right fuel tank was reading under 1/8 full and the left fuel tank was 1/4 full. The pilot opened the overflow valve and slipped the airplane to balance the fuel levels. The pilot did this maneuver twice and the fuel gauge indicated 1/8 full in both tanks. The pilot said that the fuel pressure was then lost and a total power loss occurred. He tried the regain fuel pressure by using the wobble pump but could not restart the engine. The airplane was moved and disassembled by the owner before the fuel tanks could be inspected. The owner said that the airplane manufacturer said fuel feed problems are caused by an air leak in the cover plates on the fuel tanks. The pilot did not dump his chemical load following the loss of engine power.

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

the pilot inadequate fuel system management which led to a fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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