BFO95LA052
BFO95LA052

On May 11, 1995, at 1940 eastern daylight time, N940AK, a Curtiss Wright Kittyhawk P-40E experimental airplane, lost engine power during cruise flight and crashed in a freshly plowed corn field in Phelps, New York. The certificated commercial pilot was seriously injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR 91. The flight originated in Fulton, New York, about 1930, with an intended destination was Geneseo, New York.

According to an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, the pilot stated that the aircraft was in storage all winter, and had just received an annual inspection. The pilot stated that the preflight inspection, engine run up, takeoff and climb out were all normal. He stated that the airplane was in cruise flight at 1600 feet MSL about 10 minutes into the flight when the engine "...backfire violently twice...[then] the engine stopped dead." The pilot stated that he completed the emergency checklist, but all attempts to restart the engine were unsuccessful. The pilot reported that he "...did not have the opportunity of gliding to a more suitable landing area." A forced landing was made in a freshly plowed corn field, and the landing gear collapsed.

The airplane was examined at the accident site by the FAA Inspector. The examination included checking the fuel lines, carburetor, gascolator, the engine and electric driven fuel pumps. The fuel lines separated during the impact sequence. The examination also revealed that there was no fuel in the carburetor nor the fuel lines leading from the electric fuel pump to the engine driven fuel pump . The engine driven fuel pump, and the electric driven fuel pump were removed and bench checked at a test facility. Both pumps operated satisfactory when tested.

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