NTSB Identification: ATL06LA060.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 02, 2006 in Walhalla, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Just Aircraft LLC Highlander, registration: N9085N
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.
According to the builder/owner of the airplane, the airplane was certified as a Light Sport Airplane (LSA) on March 28, 2006, and was being prepared for an air show in Florida. During the preparation of the airplane, the builder/owner stated that they noticed that a vacuum hose was loose. They repaired the hose and the pilot flew the airplane around for an hour, and everything checked out "ok". The builder/owner stated that on the morning of the accident the pilot flew the airplane around again to check to make sure they had good "temperatures". The pilot took off again and after climbing to approximately 100 feet AGL the engine began to sputter in and out. He landed the airplane and shut the engine down. The builder/owner stated that when the pilot started up the airplane again he conducted 2 run-ups before take off. Both run-ups sounded good. The pilot took off again and the engine again began to sputter during the climb out. A witness who was located across the lake from the airstrip heard the engine sputtering as he observed the airplane above the tree line adjacent to the lake. The airplane made a hard left turn but was "still on a level plain". The airplane went below the tree line and disappeared from view. The witness heard "the engine race one last time before the sound of impact." Examination of the fuel pumps revealed that both pumps had a fine mesh screens on the inlet side of the pumps. The screens were found to have excessive debris build up. Examination of the debris revealed it appeared to be fiberglass fibers, and the fibers were consistent with the fuel tank construction materials.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot and owner/builders failure to determine the reason for partial loss of engine power resulting in loss of engine power due to fuel system contamination on a subsequent flight. Full narrative available
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