NTSB Identification: ERA10LA205
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 03, 2010 in West Palm Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2011
Aircraft: CUPAIOLE RV-6A, registration: N84KM
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Witnesses reported that the pilot of the experimental, amateur-built airplane was working on the engine's alternator and then planned to fly from his home airport, to an airport about 30 miles away, to purchase fuel. Shortly after takeoff, witnesses heard the engine noise cease. The airplane then stalled and entered a spin, descending nose-down into a lake, about 1/8 mile east of the departure airport. A postaccident examination of the wreckage revealed that both fuel tanks were compromised during impact and had been filled with water. The quantity of fuel, if any, in the fuel tanks prior to impact could not be determined; the airplane's last fueling could not be verified. The examination of the airframe and engine did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. Toxicology results indicated that the pilot had used marijuana and an over-the-counter antihistamine. The condition of the samples tested did not permit accurate determination of when the substances might have most recently been used or whether the pilot may have been impaired by their use.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The total loss of engine power and the pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and spin. The reason for the loss of power could not be determined. Full narrative available
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