NTSB Identification: MIA99LA025.
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Accident occurred Saturday, October 31, 1998 in HARTSELLE, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/1999
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415-C, registration: N99924
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.

The engine lost power as the pilot turned onto the downwind leg for landing. As the pilot approached a field for landing, the aircraft collided with a power line and then the ground. Postcrash examination of the engine showed it was operating with an excessive rich fuel mixture. The carburetor float was found stuck in the full needle valve open position due to excessive solder on the float fulcrum contacting the bowl wall. The carburetor had been recently modified by installing a new style needle valve, which also required the addition of weight to the float fulcrum with solder.

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

Improper modification of the carburetor float by maintenance personnel resulting in the float sticking in the full needle valve open position and failure of the engine due to excessive fuel flow.

Full narrative available

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