NTSB Identification: CEN11FA436
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 30, 2011 in Ottumwa, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/22/2013
Aircraft: Ray Aerial Spraying 773 Racer, registration: N773RY
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

A witness reported that he saw the accident airplane on a crosswind leg for the runway when the nose suddenly went down and the pilot began to maneuver toward the runway. Wreckage path evidence, the location of the initial impact, and a witness statement suggested that the pilot of the amateur-built airplane was making a short, left-hand approach to the runway but had insufficient altitude to reach the paved runway surface. The airplane impacted a berm about 650 feet left of the approach end of the runway, travelled an additional 250 feet, and erupted into flames.
Examination of the airplane’s engine, and ignition system revealed no evidence of a preimpact mechanical malfunction.

Examination of the airplane’s fuel system was not possible due to the extensive fire damage, and no determination of the preimpact condition of the fuel system components could be made. Examination of the airplane’s propeller showed damage consistent with engine rotation with minimal power applied at impact. The witness report, wreckage path evidence, and propeller damage were consistent with an attempt to land the airplane following a loss of engine power.

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

The loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination of the airplane’s engine and ignition system did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, and extensive postaccident fire damage precluded evaluation of the airplane’s fuel system components.

Full narrative available

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