On April 30, 2001, approximately 0815 Pacific daylight time, an Ayres Corporation S2R-T45, N6129D, registered to the pilot and operated by Royal Flying Service as a 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight, experienced a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from Royal City, Washington. The pilot initiated a forced landing in a field that was obstructed by mounds of downed trees. During the landing roll, the aircraft collided with one of the mounds and nosed over. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft was substantially damaged and the commercial pilot, the sole occupant, received minor injuries. The flight originated from Royal City, and was being repositioned to a nearby private airstrip in preparation for aerial application activities.

During a telephone interview and subsequent written statement, the pilot reported that shortly after takeoff he leveled the aircraft about 150 - 200 feet above ground level and adjusted the power for cruise. The pilot reported that as he set the power (torque) and propeller (rpm) to cruise, he felt that the ground idle (fuel) lever was not in its usual position. The pilot then, with his index finger applied pressure to feel if it was against the stop. The pilot reported that it requires the thumb and fingers to pull it past the detent for fuel shutoff. Shortly after he applied pressure to the ground idle lever, the engine quit. Due to the low altitude, the pilot did not attempt to restart the engine. The pilot reported that he maneuvered the aircraft for a forced landing in a field.

During the engine inspection, no mechanical failures or malfunctions were noted. The Fuel Control Unit (FCU) was removed from the engine and sent to Pratt & Whitney Canada for testing. During the test (see attached report) the fuel flow scheduling indicated a minimum fuel flow of five pounds per hour (PPH) above the calibrated requirements of 90 to 93 PPH. The metering valve low-end acceleration curve was within the calibrated requirement. The metering valve linearity fuel flow schedule averaged slightly above their respective calibration requirements at pneumatic pressure. The angle of the condition lever for fuel cutoff was measured. The report indicated that the "Tests of the cut-off actuation were noted to be two degrees above the calibration requirement of 8 to 10 degrees." The fuel control was held in a maximum fuel flow condition (740 PPH) for a period of five minutes. No decay of fuel flow was observed. The fuel control reacted to speed, P3 air pressure and power lever test inputs.

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