NTSB Identification: DEN06LA063.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 13, 2006 in Junction City, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Rumble/Williams/Boomhower Starduster II, registration: N7JC
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 pilot reported making a normal takeoff and climb out. At about 200 feet above the ground, the pilot said the engine lost power without any prior warning. The pilot immediately executed a forced landing. On touchdown, the pilot applied "hard brakes" to avoid a ravine at the end of the grass strip. The airplane subsequently nosed over on its back causing substantial damage to the top wing, vertical stabilizer, and rudder. An examination of the engine showed that the fuel lines had been routed within 1-1/4 inches of the dual exhaust pipes. FAA requirements for certified airplanes requires a minimum of 6 inches separation due to the potential for fuel in the lines to boil and subsequently cause a vapor lock in the lines. No other anomalies were found.

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

Vapor lock which resulted in total engine failure and the pilot's abrupt brake application on touchdown. Factors contributing to the accident were the improper design of the fuel system resulting in the misrouting of the fuel lines close to the exhaust pipes, and the short landing area.

Full narrative available

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