NTSB Identification: FTW98FA165.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 26, 1998 in N. LITTLE ROCK, AR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/21/2000
Aircraft: VELOCITY 173 RG ELITE, registration: N173VE
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The experimental homebuilt airplane was destroyed when it impacted trees following a loss of engine power during the takeoff/initial climb. Several witnesses reported that the engine sputtered then it lost power. Post-accident metallurgical examination revealed radial and circumferential cracks on the valve seat head of the #3 exhaust valve. The combustion chamber face of the valve contained sites of surface tearing where there was a lack of fusion of the coating to the base metal. Voids at the interface between the coating and the base material contained aluminum oxide, a material used during surface preparation operation.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Inadequate fusion between the valve stem and head due to inadequate quality control during construction of the exhaust valve for the number three cylinder. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing Full narrative available
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