ATL06LA051
ATL06LA051

On March 12, 2006, at 1705 central standard time, an experimental Talon XP, N97GE, registered to and operated by a private owner, as a 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, collided with the ground during climb out from a private airstrip in Auburn, Alabama. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The private rated pilot received serious injuries. The airplane received substantial. The flight was originating at the time of the accident.

The builder of the airplane, and a friend of the pilot stated,, he spoke to the pilot after the accident. The pilot stated that he departed on a 230 degrees heading from the grass strip at Auburn Alabama. The pilot stated after reaching an altitude of approximately 200 feet the engine began to lose power. The pilot stated he made a 180-degree turn to the left in an attempt to return to the airport, and the airplane stalled and collided with the ground in a nose-down attitude.

The airport manager stated, he heard the experimental airplane take-off from the airport. Shortly after takeoff he heard the ballistic parachute system deploy. He did not see the accident. He went to the accident site, called emergency personnel, and assisted the pilot while they waited for emergency personnel to arrive.

Examination of the fuel system by the builder, and an airframe & power plant mechanic revealed that fuel was leaking from the inlet side of the fuel pump on the forward side of the engine-mounted pump. Further examination of the fuel system lines revealed that the flexible urethane fuel line was hardened and leaking where the line was attached over a male barb fitting and secured with a 1/8-inch plastic wire tie. Behind the tie was an additional .32 safety wire wrapping with the end secured with a ten-turn twist. According to the builder, the use of urethane lines while common among light planes has proven to those in the field to require frequent replacement due to ultra violet light exposure, the effects of aging, and the repetitive movement.

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