CHI04CA141
CHI04CA141

On June 6, 2004, at 1845 central daylight time, a Doerr RV-9A, owned and piloted by a private pilot, impacted terrain and nosed over during a forced landing. The airplane experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed a the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot received minor injuries. The flight departed from Fort Scott Municipal Airport, Fort Scott, Kansas, at 1840 and was en route to Butler Memorial Airport, Butler, Missouri.

The pilot stated, "I flew from IDX (New Century) to FSK (Fort Scott) on a 80 degree day with no issues whats so ever [sic]. I landed at FSK (about 35 minute flight), and then taxi'ed [sic] back to the runway. I sat there for around 2 minutes with the engine running while I dialed in my next hop on the GPS. I departed FSK in a climb at 110 - 120mph with the VSI at 1,000 ft/min. Coolant temp on climbout was 218 with oil 5-7 degrees hotter. Once I reached 3,000 ft MSL I backed the MT Prop off to 2100 (engine 3800) and started cruise flight to BUM (Butler, MO). A minute went by when the engine stumbled briefly, than [sic] a few seconds later, all engine power was loss [sic]. At this same time I noticed the Fuel Pressure was 5 - 7 PSI and the AUX pump kicked it [sic], but did not resolve the fuel pressure issue. I switched from the left tank (which had 12 gal remaining) to the right tank (full). I tried the pump switch in AUX, then Main and back again. I switched the Master to Bypass and still nothing. I switched the MP Prop to Manual and fully feathered the prop for best glide of 80mph and headed back to FSK. All of this was done in around 15 seconds. I had FSK in site when I realized I didn't have enough ALT to make the field, now I was 1000 AGL, I spotted a suitable landing area in a field. I landing [sic] in the field fine around 60-65 mph and rolled out into a wheat field. The bad luck was a small ditch between the two fields which the nose wheel got stuck in, even though I had full back elevator. The rest was a complete nose over at around 30 - 40 mph. The last image in my mind was seeing the prop go into the ground and break, my thoughts were, this can't be good. The next image I had was hanging upside down and the smell of fuel. It took a few seconds to figure out what happened, and then I release [sic] my belt and silenced the ELT so I could talk on 121.5. The only one to hear me was a overhead plane which relayed all my messages back to ATC. My next mission was to get out of the trapped cockpit. Thank God the top of the caopy [sic] broke, because I was unable to break the sides to crawl under. I had to start at the top of the canopy which was now against the ground and break off small pieces at a time until I had a hole big enough to crawl through. This is where I got the most cuts on my hands! Once outside I took my headset and was able to talk on 121.5 by pressing the PTT^ on the stick. I had shutoff the fuel valve after the crash (something I should have done earlier), but there was fuel still pouring out. I couldn't figure this out, but after words [sic] it made sense. The engine was against the ground upside down with the Vert Stab up much higher. This made the tanks higher than the vent lines which were spilling out all the remaining fuel. At this point the ambulance came..."

Examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration revealed that the airplane was powered by a Subaru EJ25 engine, serial number B087372 engine, which was fueled by auto fuel at the time of the accident. The airplane was equipped with two fuel pumps, which were selected to an automatic setting. An engine run following the accident did not duplicate the loss of engine power.

The pilot reported an ambient temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

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