NTSB Identification: LAX07LA003.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 06, 2006 in Gridley, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Ulfeldt Kitfox IV-1200, registration: N134U
Injuries: 2 Fatal.
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 aircraft collided with the ground while attempting a return to runway maneuver following a loss of power in the takeoff initial climb. Within about 1 minute after takeoff during initial climb, the experimental, home-built, airplane experienced a loss of engine power. The airplane reversed direction and turned back toward the departure airstrip. A ground-based witness reported that during the turn the airplane appeared to stall. Thereafter, in a nose low attitude, it spiraled/spun downward in a "steep dive." The airplane's nose and a wing impacted the ground at the same time, whereupon a fire erupted that destroyed the airplane. The witness reported that he spoke with the accident pilot prior to the flight. The pilot reportedly stated that he had made a precautionary landing at the airstrip after experiencing an engine problem. The witness loaned the pilot a wrench to assist him in repairing the airplane, and the pilot proceeded to loosen one or two fittings in the engine area. The witness observed fuel "spurting" from the area after the fuel pump had been turned on. The airplane had fuel. Thereafter, the pilot and his friend, who was also a pilot and who had accompanied the owner-pilot during the flight, replaced the engine cowling. The first pilot indicated to the witness that he believed his problem was now fixed, and the pilots proceeded to takeoff. Both pilots held airplane single engine land ratings, and both held current FAA medical certificates. Neither of the pilots held aviation mechanic/repairman certificates. The airplane was severely damaged during the impact sequence, and thereafter was destroyed by fire. An examination of the remaining wreckage did not disclose evidence of any preimpact malfunction. No logbooks were located. The reason for the loss of engine power was not ascertained.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to maintain an adequate airspeed while attempting a return to runway maneuver that led to a stall spin. The reason for the power loss was not ascertained. Full narrative available
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