NTSB Identification: LAX04LA267.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 07, 2004 in Richvale, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/26/2007
Aircraft: Schweizer Aircraft Corp. G-164B, registration: N3626T
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 agricultural airplane experienced a slow and subtle loss of engine power shortly after lifting off the dirt airstrip as it departed for an aerial application flight. The pilot placed the fuel lever to flight idle and ensured the power lever was full forward; however, he was unable to dump the application load prior to impacting a dirt embankment. Post-accident examination of the engine revealed it was rotating at the time of impact; however, the power output may have been lower than that required to sustain flight. The only anomaly noted with the engine and its various components that could have resulted in the loss of engine power was a spalled and deteriorated inner drive bearing of the fuel control unit (FCU), which could result in fluctuations in torque. The bearing grease had deteriorated to a point that only grease residue was present. The reason for the bearing grease deterioration and bearing deterioration is unknown. At the time of the accident, the FCU was 53 hours short of its recommended inspection period.

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

the loss of engine power during takeoff due to the engine's deteriorated fuel control unit's inner drive shaft bearing. The reason for the bearing's deteriorated condition could not be determined.

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