NTSB Identification: ERA12LA349
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, May 20, 2012 in Tyre, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/18/2013
Aircraft: BELCHER, GERALD C BEL AIRE 2000, registration: N122BA
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During the preflight inspection of the experimental amateur-built airplane, which had not been flown for nearly 1 year, the pilot drained the existing automotive fuel from the tank and replaced it with fresh fuel. After noting no anomalies during a ground run of the automotive-type engine, the pilot departed and circled above the departure field for several minutes to confirm that the engine would continue to perform normally before he departed the area. Several minutes later, the engine began to "hesitate," and, in response, the pilot "pumped" the throttle, which seemed to keep the engine partially running but with insufficient power to keep the airplane airborne. The pilot subsequently performed a forced landing to a farm field, during which the airplane incurred substantial damage to both lower wings. Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical failures of the engine; however, a sample of fuel taken from the airplaneā€™s fuel tank contained an unidentified particulate contaminant; however, it could not be determined whether this affected the engine performance. No other anomalies of the fuel system were noted.

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

A partial loss of engine power for reasons that could not be determined during the postaccident investigation.

Full narrative available

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