NTSB Identification: NYC05LA137.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, August 24, 2005 in Sandy Lake, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415-D, registration: N99746
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise flight, and struck a tree during a forced landing. After the accident, the passenger reported the engine driven fuel pump failed. Review of a flight manual for the make and model airplane revealed that a fuel gauge was incorporated into the fuselage (header) fuel tank cap. Fuel flowed from the wing tanks, via the engine driven fuel pump, to the fuselage tank. Once in the fuselage tank, fuel was gravity fed into the engine. Further review of the manual revealed that in case of engine driven fuel pump failure, the engine would continue to function until the 6-gallon fuselage tank was drained. During an examination of the wreckage, the fuselage tank was observed to be empty, except for some residual fuel. The fuel was clear, consistent with 100LL aviation gasoline, and no contamination was observed. The engine driven fuel pump was removed from the engine for inspection. When the pump was actuated by hand, there was no movement or continuity to its mechanical linkage that connected into the engine. The inoperative pump was re-attached to the engine to prevent oil leakage, and 5 gallons of gasoline was added to the fuselage tank. The engine then started on the first attempt, without hesitation, and ran continuously at idle power and partial power.

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

A total failure of the engine driven fuel pump, and the pilot's failure to recognize a diminishing fuel supply in the fuselage (header) fuel tank, which resulted in a total loss of engine power during cruise flight and subsequent collision with trees during a forced landing.

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