LAX96LA254
LAX96LA254

On June 29, 1996, at 1630 hours Pacific daylight time, an experimental Gray Berkut, N260DG, collided with a tree and an automobile during an emergency landing after an in-flight loss of power while on final approach to the Santa Paula Airport, Santa Paula, California. The airplane was being operated by the pilot/owner as a flight under 14 CFR Part 91 when the accident occurred. The airplane was destroyed. The airline transport rated pilot and the four occupants of the vehicle struck by the aircraft all received minor injuries. The flight originated from Camarillo, California, at 1600. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time.

The pilot/owner/builder had completed the airplane's first test flight after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an experimental airworthiness certificate for amateur built aircraft. The pilot was in the process of positioning the airplane to the Santa Paula Airport. He reported the engine lost power on final approach. The pilot attempted to restart the engine without success. He then elected to attempt an off-airport landing on the westbound lanes of a freeway. The pilot indicated he was too low and landed on the center median. The airplane struck an automobile that moved from the traffic lanes to the median to avoid the airplane.

The airplane's engine was examined on October 29, 1996, at Lynn's Aircraft Engines, El Monte, California. During the examination, no evidence was found of a mechanical failure, nor were any malfunctions discovered that explained a loss of engine power.

According to aircraft maintenance records, the fuel pump was overhauled on December 7, 1995, by Aero Accessories Inc., Gibsonville, North Carolina, a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Certified Repair Station. The repair station issued FAA Form 813.0-3, "Airworthiness Approval Tag" at the time of the overhaul. In addition, the pilot reported that the airplane had accrued a total time of .7 hours. No evidence was found that indicated the fuel pump was operated in any other engine since the overhaul.

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