NTSB Identification: SEA91LA123.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44440.
Accident occurred Sunday, June 02, 1991 in ST. XAVIER, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/07/1993
Aircraft: AERONCA 7BCM, registration: N10527
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 PILOT OF AN AERONCA 7BCM BAILED-OUT AT LESS THAN 1000 FEET AGL WHEN HIS AIRCRAFT CAUGHT FIRE IN FLIGHT. HE STATED THAT APPROXIMATELY FIVE MINUTES PRIOR TO THE START OF THE FIRE HE HAD OVERFILLED THE FUSELAGE HEADER TANK WHILE TRANSFERRING FUEL FROM THE WING TANKS. THIS CAUSED FUEL TO SPILL OUT OF THE TOP OF THE TANK AND SPLASH ON THE WINDSCREEN. IMMEDIATELY BEFORE THE FIRE THE PILOT WAS OBSERVED MAKING A NUMBER OF STEEP 'WING-OVER' MANEUVERS AND A STEEP, DESCENDING, SLIPPING SPIRAL. THE FIRE SPREAD AFT INTO THE PILOT AREA AFTER FIRST BEING NOTICED AT THE FIREWALL.

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

THE PILOT'S IMPROPER USE OF THE FUEL SYSTEM, AND THE OVERFILLING OF THE FUEL TANK. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: AEROBATICS PERFORMED, THE PILOT'S INATTENTION AND THE DESIGN OF THE FUEL SYSTEM.

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