On December 1, 2001, about 1130 Pacific standard time, a Classic Aircraft Corp. Waco YMF, N31BN, lost power on final approach for landing and impacted terrain about 1/4 mile from the approach end of runway 26 at the Banning Municipal Airport (BNG), Banning, California. The airplane, owned and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal local area flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from the Redlands Municipal Airport (L12), Redlands, California, about 1100. A stop was made at the San Bernardino International Airport (SBD), San Bernardino, California. The flight was scheduled to terminate at the Redlands airport.

The Safety Board investigator interviewed the pilot. The pilot stated that he was flying to local airports. The plan was to do a touch-and-go landing and then depart back to Redlands. He noted no discrepancies with the flight from L12 to SBD or from SBD to BNG until he was on final. He had setup for landing, which included reducing power and adding carburetor heat. He stated that on final he smelled fuel. He noted that an existing headwind had put the airplane farther back on the approach than he had expected, and he realized that he was not going to make the runway. The pilot advanced the throttle, but did not receive a corresponding power output from the engine. The airplane collided with rocks and a berm and came to rest in rocky terrain.

Later examination of the carburetor float by Aircraft Fuel Injection Services, Dallas, Texas, revealed that the float cracked and was full of fuel. Furthermore, fuel was leaking around the mixture control, accelerator pump, and in the idle tube area.

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