LAX05LA115
LAX05LA115

On March 14, 2005, about 1335 mountain standard time, a Sukhoi SU-26 experimental aerobatic airplane, N226PS, nosed over during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Marana Regional Airport, Tucson, Arizona. The private pilot, who was also the registered owner of the airplane, was operating it under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The pilot was the sole occupant and was not injured. The airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, and no flight plan had been filed. The pilot reported departing the Marana Regional Airport about 1315 for the local, personal, aerobatic flight.

According to the pilot, he was performing aerobatic maneuvers when the loss of engine power occurred. The engine did not sputter or make any unusual noises. He turned towards the airport, but ended up landing the airplane short of the runway in a field; the airplane came to rest inverted. The pilot departed with a full fuel quantity of 15.8 gallons.

Emergency responders stated that there was no fuel spill at the accident site and that the odor of fuel was not present. Recovery personnel drained about 1 quart of fuel from the fuel tank.

According to the airport manager, the airplane was topped off with 10.1 gallons of fuel at 1012, the morning of the accident. Airport personnel did not witness the airplane depart.

The engine was test-run on April 8 in the presence of the Federal Aviation Administration accident coordinator. The installed propeller sustained damage during the accident sequence so a new propeller was installed. Using the airplane's fuel system, the engine was run to 1,200 rpm successfully. No operational anomalies were noted that would have precluded the engine from operating normally.

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