ATL01LA072
ATL01LA072

On July 05, 2001, at 1957 eastern daylight time, a Ryan Navion B, N5265K, lost engine power and landed on a beach in Palm Beach, Florida. The personal flight was conducted by the pilot under provisions of Title 14 CFR 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the commercial pilot received minor injuries. The flight departed Lantana Airport in West Palm Beach, Florida, at 1855 eastern daylight time.

According to the pilot , he was flying the airplane around the traffic pattern at Lantana Airport to break-in a recently installed rebuilt engine. The pilot then stated he departed the pattern due to traffic at the airport. He flew approximately 4 miles from the airport at 3500 feet. While returning to the airport, the pilot stated he lost fuel pressure over the shoreline. The engine then ran intermittently and stopped running. He then made a emergency landing on a beach near the airport, and, during landing roll, the airplane flipped inverted.

The pilot stated the airplane had 20 gallons of fuel on board at takeoff. He also stated that he was told by the FBO operator to ground run and leak check the airplane, and, if everything looked good, test fly the airplane and begin the break-in process of the engine.

According to the repair station, the pilot asked two of its maintenance personnel if the airplane was fit for flight. The mechanics told him he would have to ask the mechanic who worked on the airplane. The repair station stated that during the time the airplane had been in the maintenance facility, ongoing repairs were being made as a result of a annual inspection. There were no logbook entries returning the airplane to service. The last annual inspection was completed on May 1, 2000.

Examination of the aircraft records revealed the airplane was capable of holding 40 gallons of fuel. On July 4, 2001, the airplane had been refueled with 39.5 gallons of fuel. When airplane arrived at the maintenance facility, the tachometer showed 242.3 hours. At the time of the accident, the tachometer showed 246.2 hours. No fuel was found in the airplane at the scene of the accident.

The airframe and engine assembly sustained extensive salt water damage. No examination of the engine was conducted. The exact fuel quantity at the time of the accident was not determined.

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