On February 8, 1995, about 1035 central standard time, a Roy Long EZ, N723HK, airplane, registered to Robert A. Fabian, operating as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, experienced a total loss of engine power in cruise flight, and crashed in the vicinity of Columbus, Mississippi. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was destroyed and the commercial pilot was reported to have sustained serious injuries. The flight originated from Lowndes County Airport, Columbus, Mississippi, about 10 minutes before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The pilot stated to the FAA, that 45 minutes before departing Lowndes County Airport, he had line service add 15 gallons of fuel to the right main fuel tank. He drained the wing tanks and the gascolator onto the ground, but he did not know if there was any dirt or water in the fuel. A witness stated the pilot only sumped the two main fuel tanks. The pilot stated in the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, "I drained the aircraft fuel sumps allowing a goodly amount of fuel to escape. I inspected the drained fuel but observed no water. He further stated the airplane required a battery jump start before he could taxi to the run-up area. After taxiing to the run-up area, he did a magneto check and the engine ran rough. He decided to return to the ramp. He advanced the throttle in order to taxi and the engine quit. He restarted the engine and it quit a total of three times before he made it back to the ramp.
A mechanic for Taloney Air Service, stated he observed the airplane taxi up to the front of the terminal and signal for assistance. He walked over to the airplane with its engine still running, and the pilot informed him what had transpired. He looked inside the cockpit, observed the magneto switch on the right magneto, and pointed this out to the pilot. The pilot moved the magneto to the both position and did a run-up. He then asked him if he should use carburetor heat on for takeoff. The mechanic informed the pilot he was not familiar with his airplane, but must airplanes do not use carburetor heat on for departure. The pilot taxied to the runway and departed with a turn out to the west.
The pilot stated in the NTSB Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report, that he taxied to the run-up area, completed another run-up, checked for traffic, took off, and climbed to 2,500 feet agl. A few minutes later, the engine quit again. He attempted an engine restart with negative results, informed Golden Triangle Airport on UNICOM that he was having a problem, and that he was trying to make the airport. He made a second call and informed UNICOM that he was not going to make the airport, and was attempting to make a forced landing to an open field, when the airplane collided with trees and crashed.
According to the FAA, the airplane collided with trees and came to rest on a heading of about 310 degrees magnetic. The right canard, wings, main landing gear, engine and propeller system separated from the fuselage.
Examination of the airframe, propeller, and flight control system revealed no evidence to indicate a precrash failure or malfunction. The fuel line on the engine was disconnected between the fuel selector valve and the gascolator. A small amount of fuel and water was present in the fuel line. The fuel lines from the left fuel tank, right fuel tank, and output line contained ice. The gascolator was removed from the fire wall and drained. A small amount of water and fuel was present. The filter housing from the gascolator was removed. The filter was covered externally with ice about 1/4 inch thick from top to bottom along about 50 percent of the circumference, and about 20 percent of the inside of the filter. The engine was transported to an authorized repair facility for an engine test run. The engine started, ran and developed adequate power.
Examination of fuel samples taken in the presence of the FAA, from the Taloney Air Service, refueling truck, filter assembly, and dispensing hose contained no visible contamination.