NTSB Identification: CHI08LA169
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 21, 2008 in Aurora, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/29/2009
Aircraft: Morrison E-Racer, registration: N345JM
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.
The pilot experienced a complete loss of engine power during initial climb after takeoff. The airplane was about 1 mile from the airport at 2,000 feet mean sea level at the time. The pilot elected to return to the airport for landing and notified the air traffic control tower accordingly. The cockpit began to fill with smoke, and shortly afterward the pilot reported noticing a fire in the cockpit near the firewall. The pilot successfully continued an approach to the departure runway, intermittently losing visual contact with the runway due to the smoke in the cockpit. On short final, he applied full left aileron and rudder inputs in an attempt to align the airplane for landing; however, the aileron control failed at that time. The airplane landed hard and the left main landing gear collapsed. The airplane spun around and came to rest about 1,500 feet from the runway threshold. The pilot successfully evacuated the airplane, which was subsequently consumed by the fire. The post accident examination was unable to locate the exact source of the fire. The pilot commented that the extent and rapid progression of the fire was consistent with a failure in the high-pressure fuel system.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: An undetermined failure in the high-pressure fuel system, and the subsequent loss of engine power and in-flight fire. Contributing to the accident were the pilot's restricted visibility due to the smoke in the cockpit, failure of the aileron control during landing flare, and the collapse of the left main landing gear due to the hard landing. Full narrative available
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