NTSB Identification: WPR11FA258
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 12, 2011 in Aguila, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/07/2013
Aircraft: Bowley Murphy, registration: N189SB
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The builder/owner/pilot of the experimental amateur-built airplane, which was powered by a converted automobile engine, was conducting a personal flight to practice maneuvers and landings. While maneuvering about 1,400 feet above the ground, the pilot smelled fuel and noticed fuel pressure and engine rpm abnormalities. He decided to conduct a precautionary landing on a highway, but, while setting up for the landing, the engine experienced a complete power loss. The pilot landed the airplane uneventfully on the flat desert terrain. After he secured and exited the airplane, a fire developed in the engine compartment and consumed most of the airplane. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the builder/pilot had made extensive use of non-aviation hardware for many engine fluid fittings and lines. Fire damage precluded determination of the origin of the fuel leak and subsequent fire. Federal Aviation Administration records indicated that about 5 years before this event, a fuel leak and fire in the engine compartment of the same airplane occurred while taxiing.

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

A fire that originated from a fuel leak at an undetermined location in the engine compartment. Contributing to the accident was the builder's use of non-aviation hardware for engine fluid fittings and lines.

Full narrative available

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