NTSB Identification: LAX01LA296.
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Accident occurred Friday, August 31, 2001 in Merced, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2002
Aircraft: Funk Aircraft Co. C, registration: N22694
Injuries: 1 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 stated that he had departed the Merced airport approximately 1400. He climbed upwind until reaching an indicated altitude of 700 feet, and then began a left turn to 210 degrees for an on-course heading to Frazier Lake. At this point, he began to feel a slight loss of engine power, followed by a slow reduction of engine power, which eventually reached a nearly wind milling condition. He pumped the throttle, but the engine did not respond. He attempted to return to the airport, but realized he was too far away to land on the runway. He landed in a plowed field, where the airplane nosed over. According to the pilot, the wing tanks were empty at the time of departure, and the only tank in use was the fuselage tank. He stated that a possible cause of the engine failure was the use of a nonvented fuel tank cap. A post accident examination of the engine revealed the only discrepancy was a nonvented fuel cap on the fuselage tank. As fuel was being drained from the tank through the carburetor the drain flow ceased. The fuselage fuel tank cap was removed, a vacuum sound was heard, and the drain flow began again. The pilot stated he had switched the fuselage fuel tank cap prior to the last annual inspection that occurred 6 months and 8 hours prior to this flight.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's improper modification of the airplane when he switched a nonvented fuel cap to the fuselage tank. A factor was the inadequate annual inspection. Full narrative available
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