NYC04LA219
NYC04LA219

On September 24, 2004, at 1820 eastern daylight time, a deHavilland DHC-22A, N665WB, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after experiencing a total loss of engine power after takeoff from the Chesterfield County Airport (FCI), Richmond, Virginia. The certificated private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, the intention of the flight was to conduct practice takeoffs and landings. The engine started normally, and all preflight checks were normal. The departure from the airport was normal, and as the airplane was turned to enter the traffic pattern, at 650 feet above the ground, the engine lost power. The pilot elected to conduct a 180-degree left turn to return to the airport, and during the turn, he overshot the runway. He then turned the airplane to the right to realign with the runway, and at 50 feet above the ground, the right wing stalled. The airplane continued to roll to the right and would not respond to aileron inputs. The airplane impacted a grass area next to the runway; ground looped, and came to rest.

According to several witnesses, the airplane had departed from runway 15, and as it was climbing out, the engine began to "sputter." The witnesses then observed the airplane turn to the left, and continue the turn back towards the airport. As the airplane neared the airport, the engine quit, and the airplane descended to the ground.

One of the witnesses added that the pilot had experienced a similar problem with a sputtering engine on the day prior to the accident, and executed an uneventful forced landing to the airport.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector examined the wreckage after the accident. Fuel was drained from the carburetor bowl, the fuel was consistent with automotive fuel, and contaminated with water and other foreign object debris.

The pilot stated to the FAA inspector that he transported automotive gasoline in 5-gallon containers to the airport to fuel the airplane.

The airplane was approved for use with automotive fuel.

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