NTSB Identification: NYC01LA184.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 23, 2001 in Fryeburg, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2001
Aircraft: Pohl Lancair IV-P, registration: N488SD
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot departed on a cross-country flight in an experimental airplane. While climbing through 8,000 ft, the engine lost manifold pressure, and the pilot was unable to restore climb power. He headed toward a nearby airport, and planned on a straight-in approach. Due to the low altitude of the airplane, he elected to hold the landing gear until he was close to the runway. When he extended the landing gear, there was insufficient time for full extension, and the airplane touched down about 100 feet short of the runway, with partial landing gear extension. Examination of the airplane revealed the remains of a paper towel in the turbocharger and intercooler. The pilot had completed his phase 1 flight time requirements and the accident flight was the first flight following an inspection in which the engine cowling had been removed. Paper towels were used as wipes on both the engine and airframe. The pilot was assisted by several persons, some of whom were not rated aviation mechanics. The pilot later reported that a paper towel had inadvertently been left on top of the engine. The airplane was powered by a converted automotive V-8 engine. The engine was equipped with an air filter. However, there was also a 5-inch by 10-inch opening on the back of the engine which allowed unfiltered air into the air intake manifold.

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

A partial blockage of the air intake system, due to the pilot's failure to ensure the engine compartment was clear of paper towels after a maintenance inspection.

Full narrative available

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