NTSB Identification: CHI03LA028.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 23, 2002 in Claflin, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/2003
Aircraft: Woods Velocity, registration: N241KW
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 sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a wheat field after a total loss of engine power. The accident flight was the 10th test flight of the airplane, and it had about 5 hours of total time. The pilot reported the takeoff and climb to 1,500 feet above ground level (agl) was normal. He reported that when he was in a subsequent climb the oil temperature started to go into the "yellow," but it stabilized when he increased airspeed and established a cruise power setting. After about five minutes, the oil temperature went into the yellow arc again and briefly reached red line, 230 degrees F. The pilot reduced power and the oil temperature went back into the green arc. The pilot reported that whenever he attempted to climb, the oil temperature would climb into the yellow arc. The pilot reported, "Within a few minutes the engine quit with no warning." The pilot executed a gear up forced landing. The inspection of the engine compartment revealed evidence of excessive heat around the fuel system and fuel line. The inspection revealed the exhaust was cracked/broken in two places. There was a 360 degree fracture at the rotor #1 engine flange separating the pipe from the engine, and a fracture where the two primary pipes merge to one in the augmenter. The inspection of the airframe and engine revealed no pre-existing anomalies. An engine run was conducted and the engine operated within normal operating parameters.

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

The total loss of engine power while in cruise flight due to vapor lock of the fuel line as a result of the fractured exhaust manifold. A factor was the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing.

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