NTSB Identification: LAX07LA220.
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Accident occurred Friday, July 13, 2007 in Greenville, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: MURRIN FREDERICK L Sopwith F1, registration: N6338
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 amateur-built replica airplane was in the initial test flight stage and had only 3 hours total time. The pilot was returning to the airport with only 1/4 tank of fuel to attempt a landing. During the approach, he applied full power to perform a go-around, but the engine did not respond. He pumped the manual fuel pressure handle a few times, and the engine regained power, but then lost all power. The airplane then collided with terrain in a corn field. The pilot said he designed the fuel system to replicate the original, but only had limited historical documentation to work from. The system utilized both an engine driven fuel pump, and a separate wing strut mounted propeller driven air pump that pressurizes the fuel tank to maintain fuel pressure for the engine. On previous flights the fuel tank was full or nearly so during the landings. The pilot surmised that on the day of the accident, the 1/4 tank of fuel onboard did not provide the head pressure that existed on previous flights. He also stated that the system fuel pressure should have been increased by adjusting the strut mounted relief valve on the air pump.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: a fuel starvation induced loss of engine power due to inadequate fuel system pressure. A factor in the accident was the pilot/builder's failure to adequately adjust the fuel system pressure. Full narrative available
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