NTSB Identification: ERA09LA357
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 19, 2009 in Chipley, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2010
Aircraft: LUSCOMBE 8, registration: N41915
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 student pilot/owner's airplane had not been operated for several months. On the day of the accident, he planned to fly the airplane in the traffic pattern at the airport where he based it. After the first takeoff, while on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern, the pilot noticed an engine rpm decrease, and he responded by checking the engine controls. After the control check, the pilot re-checked the tachometer, and noticed that the rpm continued to decrease. He was unable to maintain altitude, and set up for a forced landing in a clearing. The airplane struck vegetation prior to the clearing, and came to rest inverted. The airplane was approved to use automotive gasoline. The associated operating limitations prohibited the use of automotive gasoline that contained ethanol, due to its adverse effects on engine components and operation. The pilot was unaware of, and did not obtain, the automotive gasoline operating limitations, and he regularly fueled the airplane with automotive gasoline that contained ethanol.

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

A partial loss of power due to the use of automotive gasoline that contained ethanol, which was prohibited by the operating limitations. Contributing to the accident was the pilot/owner's failure to obtain and comply with the applicable operating limitations.

Full narrative available

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