NTSB Identification: LAX91FA334.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 45552.
Accident occurred Sunday, July 28, 1991 in RUBIDOUX, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/08/1993
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415C, registration: N94385
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 WAS DEPARTING THE AIRPORT ON A LOCAL VFR MAINTENANCE TEST FLIGHT. THE AIRPORT IS SITUATED IN A HIGHLY CONGESTED AREA WITH A TREE LINE AT THE END OF THE RUNWAY. THE AIRPLANE HAD JUST BEEN RESTORED AND THIS WAS THE FIRST FLIGHT IN 19 YEARS. WITNESSES REPORTED THAT SHORTLY AFTER LIFT-OFF THE AIRPLANE'S ENGINE BEGAN TO BACKFIRE AND THEN QUIT. THE AIRPLANE ENTERED INTO A RIGHT BANK, STALLED AND CRASHED INTO A RESIDENCE'S BACKYARD. THE INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT BOTH MAGNETO HOLD-DOWN NUTS WERE LOOSE AND THE ENGINE TIMING COULD NOT BE DETERMINED. THE LEFT MAGNETO WOULD ONLY PRODUCE SPARK IN ONE LEAD AND THE RIGHT MAGNETO WOULD NOT FIRE WHEN THEIR RESPECTIVE DRIVE WERE HAND ROTATED. THE MAGNETOS OPERATED NORMALLY WHEN TESTED WITHOUT THE ENGINE'S IGNITION HARNESS.

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

THE MECHANIC'S IMPROPER INSTALLATION OF THE MAGNETOS AND THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO MAINTAIN FLYING SPEED. FACTORS RELATED TO THIS ACCIDENT ARE THE PILOT'S INADVERTENT STALL AND THE RESIDENTIAL AREA.

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