LAX94LA071
LAX94LA071

On December 13, 1993, at 0935 hours Pacific standard time, a Rans S14, N7844E, collided with the terrain following an engine failure immediately after takeoff on Runway 24 at Flabob Airport, Riverside, California. The pilot was conducting a local visual flight rules personal flight. The airplane, owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Flabob Airport at 0930 hours.

The pilot stated in the NTSB Form 6120.1/2, Pilot Operator Report, that he departed the Flabob Airport for a local pleasure flight at 09:30 hours. He said that "at about 250 feet above the end of Runway 24 the engine began to loose power, as if he had pulled back the throttle." He said he tried to land on a dirt road about 200 yards from the runway. He said as he touched down on the ground the airplane hit a 18 inch berm in the road that sheered off the landing gear and caused the left wing to hit the ground.

The engine was examined under the direction of the Safety Board on December 20, 1993. According to the written report received by Carl Christopher, an inspector in the Riverside Flight Standards District Office, the main fuel valve was found in the "OFF" position.

Additionally, visual examination of the wreckage revealed that the auxiliary fuel valve was found in the "ON" position. An attempt to run the engine in this configuration was unsuccessful. Under the direction of the FAA inspector, the main fuel valve was placed in the "ON" position. A subsequent attempt to run the engine in this configuration was successful. The engine ran satisfactorily in all throttle positions. The main fuel valve was turned to the "OFF" position, while the throttle was set to a "high power setting." The engine subsequently ran for a time period of one minute and eighteen seconds.

The main fuel valve was turned back to the "ON" position, and the engine started "easily." The inspector then turned the fuel valve back to the "OFF" position, at an idle throttle setting. The engine ran for four minutes and twenty seconds.

The FAA inspector noted that the fuel valves in this installation are "very close to the pilot's seat...and can be obscured by a pilot of maturity." Additionally, he noted that when the seat belt is buckled, the fuel valve location is obscured by the seat belt location.

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