CHI94LA103
CHI94LA103

On March 11, 1994, at approximately 0845 hours eastern standard time, an Ercoupe 415-C, N2965H, operated by William Gras of Zeeland, Michigan, experienced a total loss of engine power, stalled and impacted the runway after takeoff from Frankfort City Airport, Frankfort, Michigan and was substantially damaged. The private pilot sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was filed. The flight operated under 14 CFR Part 91, as a personal flight and was originating at the time of the accident.

The airplane landed in a nose down attitude and slid 89 feet along the runway. The engine, firewall and forward fuselage sustained substantial damage. The FAA Airworthiness Inspector on scene reported that the engine rotated freely by turning the propeller. The carburetor was destroyed during impact. FAA inspection revealed 1/4 inch of ice inside the gascolator immediately after the accident. The wing fuel tanks were ruptured. The nose fuel tank remained intact and was a source for fuel samples. Fuel samples revealed visible particulate contamination as well as visible water and ice particles.

The pilot stated that he was aware of ice in the gascolator bowl, but felt it would not be a problem since it was in the bottom of the bowl. The pilot stated that the airplane had been tied down outside for the winter and last flown in the fall of 1993.

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