NTSB Identification: WPR11FA453
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, September 15, 2011 in Reno, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/2012
Aircraft: DACEY VENTURE, registration: N521XD
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot reported that during the takeoff initial climb, he reduced the power and retracted the landing gear. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost total power and the pilot performed a forced landing to an open area off the right side of the runway. Subsequently, the airplane landed hard and came to rest upright. The pilot reported that he was going to participate in an air race and that the airplane was equipped with an anti-detonant injection (ADI) system that was designed to inject a methanol and water mixture into the engine at race power settings and was computer controlled. He said that the system was designed to engage when the engine manifold pressure reached a certain level and continue to a race power setting. The pilot stated that he typically armed the ADI system after takeoff during cruise flight; however, he decided to arm the system prior to takeoff. The pilot thought that after the ADI system activated during takeoff, it might have flooded the engine when he reduced engine power to maintain airspeed to allow him to retract the landing gear. Postaccident examination of the fuel injected engine revealed no preimpact mechanical anomalies that would have precluded normal operation.

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

A total loss of engine power during the initial climb due to the pilot’s premature activation of the engine's anti-detonant injection system.

Full narrative available

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