NTSB Identification: ERA13LA015
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, October 10, 2012 in Madison, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/12/2013
Aircraft: VELLINE'S BREEZY RLU-1, registration: N255JL
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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

Before takeoff, a witness observed the pilot performing a preflight inspection, during which the pilot appeared to check the fuel system for contaminants. The airplane subsequently departed and was observed to climb to between 150 and 200 feet above ground level before a witness heard a loud “bang” and noted black smoke trailing from the airplane. Additionally, several witnesses reported that the engine was “running rough.” The airplane continued to fly about the same altitude with the engine sputtering and running rough, emitting puffs of black smoke every 1 to 2 seconds. Several witnesses indicated that before the airplane flew past the departure end of the runway, it stalled, entered a spin, and impacted terrain.

Postaccident examination of the engine revealed crankshaft, camshaft and valve train continuity. Examination of the ignition system revealed no discrepancies. The carburetor was removed and bench tested, which revealed that it produced a richer-than-specified fuel/air mixture at several throttle positions, including full throttle, which would be used for takeoff. However, it is unlikely that the overly rich fuel/air mixture caused the symptoms reported by the witnesses. Although weather conditions at the time of the accident were conducive to serious carburetor icing at glide power, the airplane was not operating at glide power during the accident takeoff. The investigation was unable to determine the cause of the power loss.

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

The pilot’s failure to maintain airspeed following a loss of engine power during takeoff for reasons that could not be determined because postaccident examination did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation, and the airplane’s subsequent aerodynamic stall.

Full narrative available

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