NTSB Identification: LAX91FA156.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45376.
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 03, 1991 in SANTA PAULA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: HERBERT W. ROSS RV-4, registration: N45EM
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.

SHORTLY AFTER LIFTOFF ON RUNWAY 22 THE TANDEM SEATING AIRPLANE EXPERIENCED A TOTAL LOSS OF POWER FOLLOWED BY THE AIRPLANE'S NOSE PITCHING UP RAPIDLY AND THEN STALL. THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH A GOLF CART AND BURST INTO FLAMES. BOTH OCCUPANTS WERE KILLED FROM THE RESULTING POST IMPACT FIRE. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT ONLY THE PILOT WAS OBSERVED AT THE TIME THE AIRPLANE PITCHED UP. THE PILOT WAS FOUND LYING FORWARD AND THE REAR SEAT OCCUPANT WAS LYING SUPINE PARTLY IN THE AFT FUSELAGE. EXAMINATION DISCLOSED THE REAR SEAT PASSENGER'S SEAT FAILED IN A REARWARD DIRECTION AND THAT THE FUEL SELECTOR VALVE WAS SELECTED TO THE OFF POSITION.

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

THAT THE PILOT INADVERTENTLY SELECTED THE WRONG FUEL TANK AND THE PASSENGER INTERFERED WITH THE FLIGHT CONTROLS WHEN THE SEAT BACK FAILED.

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