NTSB Identification: SEA07FA240.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 25, 2007 in St. George, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2008
Aircraft: Flight Design CTSW, registration: N775CT
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot had just purchased the special light sport airplane and was flying it cross country to his home. He had received several hours of flight training and completed a flight review in the airplane the day before the accident. The accident flight was uneventful until about 20 miles from the destination, at which point the engine began to run rough. The pilot determined that the choke had "worked its way back about 3/4 of an inch." He "eased" the choke off and the engine roughness stopped. The engine lost complete power about 5 miles from the destination as the pilot entered the downwind leg for landing on runway 16. The pilot reported that he attempted to glide to the airport; however, the sink rate was excessive and he located a small clearing in the boulders on the bluff ahead and elected "to stall in vertically rather than to tumble over the rocks horizontally." He intentionally stalled the airplane at an altitude of 10 feet above ground. The airplane impacted the terrain, nosed over and came to rest inverted. The pilot added that he could have deployed the airplane's BRS parachute (a rocket deployed emergency parachute system), but "chose not to because we could have been blown over the dense population area, very near" to the accident site. Fuel was observed leaking from the wreckage the day after the accident. Initially during post-accident examination, the engine could not be rotated by hand. A broken snap ring was found jamming the gears in the propeller gearbox. According to the engine manufacturer's representative, it is common to find this snap ring broken in engines that have sustained impact damage. The snap ring was replaced and the engine was test run. The engine developed near 100 percent performance. The ignition system was checked and functioned normally. No discrepancies were noted that would have prevented normal engine operation and production of power. The reason for the loss of engine power could not be determined.

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

The loss of engine power during approach for an undetermined reason. Contributing to the accident was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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