NTSB Identification: FTW02LA035.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 10, 2001 in Manvel, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Terry Zenith 801, registration: N54RX
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
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 amateur-built airplane was at 1,500 feet msl and maneuvering at a slow airspeed for 7-8 minutes when the engine lost power. The pilot switched fuel tanks, restarted the engine, and continued the flight toward a nearby airport. Prior to reaching the airport, the engine again lost power. The pilot initiated a forced landing to a highway. Due to traffic on the highway, the pilot had to delayed the landing, which resulted in the airplane continuing towards power lines. As the pilot "quickly landed the airplane," the nose landing gear collapsed, and the airplane came to a stop upright on the highway. During an examination of the airplane, 3 inches of fuel was found in both of the fuel tanks, and over 15 gallons of fuel was drained. Upon further inspection of the fuel system, no blockages were found in the fuel lines, and the gascolator was clean. The pilot suspected that a vacuum was created in both of the fuel tanks since there were no fuel tank vents, except for the vents in the fuel caps. The airplane had accumulated 5 hours at the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: loss of engine power while maneuvering for an undetermined reason. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing. Full narrative available
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