NTSB Identification: LAX04LA204.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 07, 2004 in Tipton, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/07/2005
Aircraft: Rocket Flyers LLC, registration: N724TL
Injuries: 2 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 single engine experimental airplane collided with terrain after experiencing a loss of engine power. About 1,000 feet above ground level (agl), the pilot selected an area to make a forced landing. He identified some power lines that were in the selected landing area so he diverted the airplane to a highway and landed gear up. To avoid a truck, the pilot veered the plane off the highway and into rough terrain where the wing struck a tree. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector supervised an airframe and engine examination. The engine was a Diemech M601D turboprop. He determined that the airplane had fuel in its fuel tank when it landed. He found air in the engine's fuel control system. Maintenance technicians bled the fuel control and fuel pump. They then completed a test run of the engine without incident. The owner/pilot said that because air was found in the fuel control unit there was a possible design flaw in the way fuel is delivered from the fuel tank to the engine.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of air migrating into the fuel control unit. The ultimate reason for the air entry into the fuel control unit was not determined.

Full narrative available

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