CHI94LA249
CHI94LA249

On July 29, 1994, at 0921 hours central daylight time, a Bellanca BL-17-30, N93572, operated as a personal aircraft by Wooden Airplane Company of Southfield, Michigan, impacted water in a lake in Waterford, Michigan. The airplane was substantially damaged, the private pilot and two passengers sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. The airplane was departing on an instrument flight plan to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and impacted one half mile west of the departure end of runway 27R from Oakland-Pontiac Airport, Pontiac, Michigan.

The pilot reported that during the initial climbout the engine began to run rough and lost power. He reported attempting to switch fuel tanks, but could not remember his exact actions. The impact ruptured both wing fuel cells. The fuel lines to the engine remained intact. Postaccident examination revealed less than 1 ounce of fuel in the fuel lines from the selector valve to the strainer, and the strainer to the engine driven and electric pumps. An internal examination of the fuel selector valve revealed that the port from the right tank was half open.

Both pumps were bench operated and discharged fuel once primed. Inspection of the magnetos, plugs, and induction system revealed no discrepancies. The propeller was pulled through and the accessories turned with no binding. The engine was run on a test stand with normal magneto checks and the propeller responded normally to the pitch control. The engine was run up to 1600 RPM with no anomalies. At that point acceleration was stopped due to vibration from bent propeller blades. Shut down was normal using the mixture control.

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