NTSB Identification: LAX98LA041.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 22, 1997 in PHOENIX, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/15/1999
Aircraft: Rans S91, registration: N9291T
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 aircraft was on its initial test flight following construction and certification. Following takeoff, the pilot flew for nearly an hour while exploring the handling qualities of the aircraft. After returning to the airport, the pilot made a pass over the airstrip to check controllability in the landing configuration. In his statement he reported that in initiating the missed approach he 'applied full power and pulled to 55 IAS and 2.5G's at 300 feet agl . . .(then) I pushed over and reduced to 5000 rpm.' At this point, the pilot noticed a loss of rpm, followed 5 seconds later by a complete loss of engine power. He turned toward a landing site, and at 10 feet agl started to flare for touchdown. The pilot stated that the airplane was not flying and he had no control of the aircraft. The aircraft touched down hard on a dirt road. The pilot reported that the engine was free to rotate, with no evidence of internal failure. He believes the loss of power was due to a fuel system vent blockage.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed margin during the forced landing, which resulted in an inadvertent stall/mush.

Full narrative available

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