NTSB Identification: MIA89FA177.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 39146.
Accident occurred Sunday, June 18, 1989 in LANTANA, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/11/1990
Aircraft: UHLEY-MASON R.A.F. VARI-EZE, registration: N2UM
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.

WITNESSES STATED THE ENG FAILED ABRUPTLY AS THE ACFT MADE A RIGHT TURN AFTER TAKEOFF. THE ENG WAS PLACED ON A TEST STAND AFTER THE ACCIDENT AND OPERATED TO FULL POWER WITH NO EVIDENCE OF FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION. UNCONTAMINATED FUEL WAS FOUND IN THE AIRFRAME AND ENG FUEL SYSTEM AFTER THE ACCIDENT. THE ENG IGNITION SWITCHES WERE DESTROYED IN THE ACCIDENT AND THE POSITION OF THESE SWITCHES COULD NOT BE DETERMINED. WITNESSES TO THE ACCIDENT OBSERVED THE ENG OPERATE ON THE TEST STAND AND WHEN THE IGNITION SWITCHES WERE TURNED OFF THE ENG FAILED ABRUPTLY. THEY IDENTIFIED THIS FAILURE MODE AS SIMILAR TO THE INFLIGHT FAILURE OF THE ENG. THE OTHER OWNER OF THE ACFT STATED HE HAD INADVERTENTLY TURNED OFF THE IGNITION SWITCHES A FEW YEARS BEFORE WHEN HE BUMPED THEM WHILE CLOSING THE AIR VENT. HE STATED THE POINT IN THIS FLIGHT THAT THE ENG FAILED WOULD HAVE BEEN THE POINT THE PLT WOULD HAVE CLOSED THE AIR VENT.

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

PILOTS INADVERTENT TURNING OFF OF THE ENGINE IGNITION SWITCHES RESULTING IN ENGINE FAILURE.

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