NTSB Identification: LAX08LA056.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 01, 2008 in Murrieta, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2008
Aircraft: Smith Zodiac 601XL, registration: N601KS
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.

During the takeoff climb, the engine was starved of fuel and lost power. Following the power loss, the pilot activated the auxiliary fuel pump and tried unsuccessfully to restart the engine. The pilot was turning in a 10-degree bank toward an off-airport emergency landing site in open terrain, when the left main landing gear touched down first on the upsloping terrain. About 50 feet from the initial touchdown, the nose landing gear dug into the soft terrain and separated, and the airplane came to rest on its nose. The pilot reported that prior to the loss of power, the fuel pressure gage went to zero and he received a low fuel pressure warning. He further reported that on the daytime flight, he was operating all of his electrical systems; strobes, transponder, and radios. He said he believed that with the full operation of all the electrical devices, the electrically driven fuel pump did not have sufficient amperage to run. An inspection of the airplane revealed that the carburetor bowl was empty; even though there was fuel onboard the airplane. With the fuel pump not operating, fuel was not being supplied to the carburetor, thus allowing the engine to lose power as a result of fuel starvation. When functionally checked the fuel pump operated normally. The pilot reported that there was no recent maintenance done on the airplane.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, which was induced by the electrical system lacking sufficient power to run all of the electrical devices on the airplane and the electrical fuel pump.

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