NTSB Identification: CHI91LA202.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43400.
Accident occurred Wednesday, June 26, 1991 in VERMILLION, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/14/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N541FL
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.

AFTER A BRIEF LOCAL FLIGHT, THE PILOT TURNED BACK TOWARD THE AIRPORT TO REENTER THE TRAFFIC PATTERN. HE REPORTED THAT AS HE NEARED THE AIRPORT THERE WAS A COMPLETE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. BECAUSE OF HIS POSITION AND ALTITUDE THE PILOT ELECTED TO MAKE A DOWNWIND LANDING ON RUNWAY 30 (HE ESTIMATED THE WINDS AS OUT OF 140 DEGREES AT 10 TO 12 KNOTS). THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE OVERSHOT THE RUNWAY AND MADE A HARD LANDING IN A BEAN FIELD. A POST ACCIDENT ENGINE RUN UP REVEALED THAT THE ENGINE WAS CAPABLE OF NORMAL OPERATION. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE AND HIS INSTRUCTOR HAD ABORTED A FLIGHT EARLIER IN THE DAY OF THE ACCIDENT BECAUSE THE ENGINE FAILED DURING THE TAKEOFF ROLL. THEY ATTRIBUTED THAT ENGINE FAILURE TO VAPOR LACK. THE AIRPLANE WAS FUELED WITH AUTOMOBILE GAS, AND AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT THE TEMPERATURE WAS ESTIMATED TO BE MORE THAN 90 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.

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

THE PILOT'S DECISION TO OPERATE THE AIRPLANE WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES AND AN IMPROPER LANDING FLARE. RELATED FACTORS ARE THE USE OF AUTOMOBILE FUEL, EXTREME TEMPERATURES AND OVERSHOOTING THE PLANNED LANDING APPROACH.

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