NTSB Identification: LAX93FA352.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 14, 1993 in LEMMON VALLEY, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1994
Aircraft: SCALED COMPOSITES 158-8, registration: N221BP
Injuries: 1 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 PILOT BEGAN A TIMING RUN AT THE RENO NATIONAL AIR RACES IN A ONE-OF-A-KIND TWIN ENGINE COMPOSITE STRUCTURE PLANE. HE SAID HE WAS LEAVING THE RACE COURSE & TOLD HIS GROUND CREW HE WAS HAVING A PROBLEM WITH THE RIGHT ENGINE. THE TOWER ADVISED HE WAS TRAILING SMOKE. AT THE APEX OF A CLIMB ABEAM THE NUMBERS/NORTH OF RUNWAY 26, A PUFF OF SMOKE FROM THE AIRPLANE WAS SEEN. THE PLANE TURNED RIGHT, PITCHED DOWN WHILE TURNING SOUTHEAST, & DESCENDED AT HIGH SPEED. IT CRASHED ON OPEN TERRAIN IN A WINGS LEVEL, LANDING ATTITUDE WITH THE LANDING GEAR RETRACTED & TRAVELED 900' BEFORE STOPPING. AN EXAM REVEALED THE #1 & #2 CONNECTING RODS HAD OVERHEATED & FAILED FROM LACK OF OIL. THE PILOT'S HELMET, OXYGEN MASK & OTHER COCKPIT COMPONENTS REVEALED EVIDENCE OF AN IN-FLIGHT FIRE & PILOT'S BLOOD WAS 8% SATURATED WITH CARBON MONOXIDE. POST-CRASH FIRE DESTROYED THE COCKPIT, RIGHT WING & WING CENTER SECTION, INCLUDING FUEL SYSTEM BOOST PUMPS & SHUTOFF VALVES NEAR THE PILOT'S FEET. OIL RESIDUE WAS FOUND ON A REMAINING PIECE OF THE RIGHT BOOM (AFT OF RIGHT ENGINE).

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

OIL STARVATION AND CONNECTING ROD FAILURE IN THE RIGHT ENGINE, AND A RESULTANT FUEL FED FIRE.

Full narrative available

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