NTSB Identification: ERA11LA014
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, October 09, 2010 in Lawrenceville, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/21/2011
Aircraft: ENGINEERING & RESEARCH ERCOUPE 415-D, registration: N89331
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 had removed the engine cowling prior to the accident flight and was performing maintenance on the engine. They observed the airplane depart from the runway and noted that it sounded as if it was not producing full power. The airplane then oscillated, banked left, and impacted a road with the left wing down. Examination of the engine revealed the nut on the bottom of the gascolator was not safety wired and was loose, allowing air into the fuel system. Additionally, the gascolator bowl, carburetor bowl, and float needle valve were heavily rusted and corroded. The fuel line from the wing fuel tanks to the fuel pump had been blocked off with a rubber hose, making the only fuel available to the engine, the six gallons in the header tank. The pilot's son reported that prior to the accident, the pilot performed maintenance on the airplane due to a fuel problem. The pilot's son believed the problem was resolved and the pilot last flew the airplane about a week prior to the accident in the local area. According to the maintenance logbooks, the most recent inspection was completed on the airplane 10 months prior to the accident. Examination of the pilot's logbook revealed his only flight in the accident airplane was a 30-minute flight 6 days prior to the accident.

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

Inadequate maintenance performed on the airplane, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the corrosion within the carburetor.

Full narrative available

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