NTSB Identification: NYC90DNA01.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41971.
Accident occurred Thursday, October 05, 1989 in NORTH ANDOVER, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/1992
Aircraft: SMEESTERS RV-4, registration: N671RS
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

SHORTLY AFTER THE HOMEBUILT AIRPLANE DEPARTED, THE PILOT TOLD THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLER THAT THE ENGINE HAD QUIT AND HE WAS RETURNING TO THE AIRPORT TO LAND. A GROUND WITNESS OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE AS IT APPROACHED THE RUNWAY. HE STATED THE AIRPLANE ROLLED TO THE LEFT, PITCHED NOSE DOWN AND DESCENDED INTO THE TERRAIN NEAR THE APPROACH END OF THE RUNWAY. AN INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE PILOT DID NOT REMOVE A FOAM PLUG FROM THE CARBURETOR INLET DUCT BEFORE FLIGHT. SUBSEQUENTLY, THIS RESULTED IN A RESTRICTION OF AIRFLOW TO THE CARBURETOR AND LOSS OF ENGINE POWER.

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

THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION, AND HIS FAILURE TO MAINTAIN AIRCRAFT CONTROL DURING THE RESULTANT FORCED LANDING.

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