NTSB Identification: NYC04LA214.
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Accident occurred Sunday, September 19, 2004 in Bealeton, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Ryan ST3KR, registration: N57015
Injuries: 1 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 pilot preflighted the airplane, noting there was approximately 12 gallons of fuel onboard. He then departed, and proceeded to a local "flying circus," which was about 5 minutes away. He did a few aerobatic maneuvers, and landed at the circus. The pilot flew in the opening and closing ceremonies before departing on the accident flight. He started the engine, noted approximately 5 gallons of fuel remaining, and then departed with the fuel selector set to "RESERVE." Once airborne and passing approximately 200 to 300 feet, the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot identified a golf course and maneuvered to land. The airplane touched down, encountered a pond, and nosed over. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the fuel lines to the fuel selector were reversed, making 3 gallons of normally useable fuel unusable. The pilot purchased the airplane in 1986, had it rebuilt, which was completed in 2000, and then flew it 100 to 150 hours without a problem. The accident flight was the first time the pilot had operated the airplane with less than 5 gallons of fuel onboard.

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

The improper installation of fuel lines by maintenance personnel resulting in a total loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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