NTSB Identification: CHI02LA166.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 16, 2002 in Urbana, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2003
Aircraft: Jacobs Rutan Vari Viggen, registration: N915D
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 airplane was destroyed when it impacted terrain after a loss of control following a partial loss of engine power during the initial climb from the runway. A witness stated that the airplane had an unusually long takeoff roll, lifting off approximately 300 feet from the end of the 4,000 foot runway, and that once the airplane was airborne, the wings were "rocking and rolling". The pilot transmitted on the radio that he was having trouble climbing. The witness reported that the airplane entered a slow turn to the right with a high angle of attack. The witness stated that the airplane's nose fell to the right and the aircraft impacted the terrain nose first. A fuel leak was found around the accelerator pump housing on the carburetor. The engine was found to be running excessively rich when run on a test stand.

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

The pilot's failure to abort the takeoff. Additional factors included the partial loss of engine power due to an excessively rich mixture as a result of a bad accelerator pump housing seal, and the pilot failed to maintain control of the airplane.

Full narrative available

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