NTSB Identification: ANC99LA060.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 07, 1999 in PEDRO BAY, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Aeronca 15AC, registration: N1315H
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 certificated commercial pilot reported that while climbing through 7,000 feet msl, he smelled smoke in the airplane, followed by a rough running engine. During an emergency descent, he saw smoke and flames coming from underneath the floor boards adjacent to the rudder pedals. The pilot elected to ditch the airplane in shallow ocean water, just short of the beach. Upon touchdown, the airplane nosed over. The pilot said, in part: 'My legs were on fire and I just wanted to put the fire out, and get the airplane on the ground.' An FAA airworthiness inspector traveled to the accident scene, and examined the airplane wreckage. He said that upon closer inspection of the engine, it was discovered that the top portion of the number three cylinder was separated between the cylinder barrel, and the cylinder head. He added that the main fuel supply line was burned through, and disconnected from the carburetor inlet fitting. In his written statement the FAA inspector wrote, in part: '...the vibration shook loose the left engine exhaust pipe which then directed the exhaust onto the fuel line to the carburetor which caused the fire.'

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

A separation of the number 3 engine cylinder head assembly, and a burned through fuel line.

Full narrative available

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