NTSB Identification: ATL06LA051.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 12, 2006 in Auburn, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/31/2006
Aircraft: Eakle R Grandin Jr Talon XP, registration: N97GE
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 stated to a friend before he was transported to a local area hospital that he departed from a grass strip at Auburn Alabama. The airplane climbed to about 200 feet and the engine began to lose power. The pilot made a 180-degree turn to the left in an attempt to return to the airport. The airplane stalled and collided with the ground in a nose down attitude. Examination of the fuel system by the builder, and an airframe & powerplant mechanic revealed that fuel was leaking from the inlet side of the fuel pump on the forward side of the engine-mounted pump. Further examination of the fuel system lines revealed that the flexible urethane fuel line was hardened and leaking where the line was attached over a male barb fitting and secured with a 1/8-inch plastic wire tie. Behind the tie was an additional .32 safety wire wrapping with the end secured with a ten-turn twist. According to the builder, the use of urethane lines while common among light planes has proven to those in the field to require frequent replacement due to the ultra violet exposure, the effects of aging, and the repetitive movement.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed which resulted in an inadvertent stall. A factor was the improper maintenance inspection of the engine fuel lines resulting in loss of engine power due to a loose fuel line and subsequent fuel starvation. Full narrative available
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