NTSB Identification: MIA02LA078.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 04, 2002 in Crystal River, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/2003
Aircraft: Ultravia Aero Int', Inc. Pelican Club PL, registration: N60980
Injuries: 2 Serious.
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 flight departed with a sufficient quantity of fuel on a flight in which the owner of the airplane was required by his insurance company to fly with a CFI a total of 10 hours. After takeoff with a sufficient quantity of fuel on-board, the proceeded to a nearby area, and during the cruise portion of the flight, a discrepancy with the propeller was noted. The flight then proceeded to return based on the fact that the lesson was over, not based on the propeller problem though it did concern him. While flying at 1,000 feet msl approximately 3.5 to 4.0 miles northeast of the departure airport with one auxiliary fuel pump off and the other on, the engine suddenly quit. The owner placed the throttle control full forward, and he (CFI) advised the owner to maintain best glide airspeed of 75 miles-per-hour and fly towards the runway at Crystal River airport. The auxiliary fuel pump that was off, was turned on, and a radio call was made on the Crystal River Airport UNICOM frequency advising that the flight would be landing runway 27 (opposite the active runway). The engine started and operated for approximately 10 seconds after the throttle was placed in the midrange position, then quit. The engine starter was activated which started the engine only momentarily before quitting again. He couldn't recall if the propeller stopped but did report that the fuel selector and ignition switch were in the "both" position. The owner failed to maintain the best glide airspeed; the airplane was maneuvered towards a nearby golf course. He gave up in attempting to start the engine and advised the owner that he (CFI) had the airplane. He advised the owner to tighten his seatbelt, and lined up to land on a fairway. He reported he "misjudged the glide", and just before touchdown while flying at the best glide airspeed of 75 mph, the right wing of the airplane collided with something. The airplane then pitched nose down and to the right impacting the ground. He reported that he believes that if the right wing had not collided with something, he would have made the fairway. He estimated the total airborne time was 35-40 minutes, and all engine parameters were OK from the beginning of the takeoff where full rpm (5,900) was achieved, up to the point when the engine suddenly quit. There was no warning in his headset when the engine quit, and there was no vibration in the airframe before or after the engine quit. He couldn't recall securing the electrical system before the forced landing on the fairway. He stated that he has experienced fuel starvation in-flight before and feels the total loss of engine power experienced on the accident flight was similar to his previous experience. Initial examination of the engine revealed residual fuel in both carburetor bowls. Impact or missing ignition system, fuel delivery, and propeller system components were replaced for an attempted non-turbocharged engine run. The engine was operated and developed approximately 5,600 rpm, no discrepancies were noted with the cooling, or lubrication systems during the engine run.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power due to undetermined reasons. A factor in the accident was the pilot-in-command misjudging the proper glidepath resulting in the in-flight collision with a tree and subsequent uncontrolled in-flight collision with the ground. Full narrative available
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