FTW00LA061
FTW00LA061

On January 10, 2000, at 1600 central standard time, a Taylorcraft DCO-65 airplane, N48634, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Sherman, Texas. The airplane was registered to a private individual. The private pilot and his passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight, and a flight plan was not filed. The local flight was originating from the Flying M private grass airstrip at the time of the accident.

According to the pilot, he flew the airplane just prior to the accident on a local 40 minute flight, during which he experienced no anomalies with the airframe or engine. He departed to the south from the 2,375-foot airstrip. He turned left crosswind, and the airplane was climbing through 150 feet when the engine lost total power. He stated that the engine "powered down, like fuel was cut off." He initiated a forced landing, during which the airplane touched down "hard" as he was maneuvering to avoid a fence and trees. Upon touchdown, the landing gear collapsed and the airplane slid approximately 100 feet, coming to a stop upright.

An FAA inspector, who examined the airplane at the accident site, reported that the left wing, including the spar, was structurally damaged. She added that both main landing gears separated from the airplane. The pilot disassembled the Stromberg NAS-3A carburetor and observed that the "needle was stuck in the closed position." The float and needle were removed and he observed "scoring wear inside of the needle guide." He added that "it took considerable force to free [the needle]." The airframe and engine underwent their most recent annual and 100 hour inspections, respectively, on November 23, 1999. At the time of the accident, the airframe had accumulated a total of 5,118 hours and the engine had accumulated a total of 1212.15 hours since major overhaul.

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