NTSB Identification: SEA07CA144.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 04, 2007 in Corona, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: Billings/Humbyrd Thorpe T-18, registration: N45BH
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that the day before the accident, the engine experienced a loss of power "from apparent fuel starvation." On the day of the accident, the pilot reported that before the flight he inspected and modified the fuel system. The pilot stated that he "installed fuel hose directly from tank to carb, bypassing gascolator and fuel flow sensor." The pilot then ran the engine at full power for five minutes before takeoff. The pilot successfully took off on runway 25 and at approximately 500 feet above ground level, the engine lost power. The pilot turned the aircraft back towards the departure runway. While turning to line up with the grass along side the runway, the aircraft "sank out of the turn, collapsed left gear leg and bent left wing - landing in soft grass." The airplane came to a stop in the grass with it's nose on the ground and tail in the air. The pilot exited the airplane and pulled the tail back down. The pilot reported that he believed the malfunction was a "fuel flow fault." Approximately 12 gallons of automotive fuel was on board at the time. Federal Aviation Administration airmen records indicated that the pilot does not hold airframe or powerplant mechanic certificates.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power during the initial climb due to a fuel system malfunction. The pilot's incorrect maintenance modification to the fuel system and continued operation with known deficiencies were factors. Full narrative available
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