CHI08LA189
CHI08LA189

On July 3, 2008, about 1755 central daylight time, an amateur-built Roof Curtis Hawk P6E, N386PE, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when it impacted the ground following a loss of engine power during takeoff. A fire erupted. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The pilot received serious injuries. The local flight was originating at the time of the accident.

In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that he was hospitalized for about 60 days after the accident. He reported that during the takeoff in his homebuilt replica of a Curtis Hawk P6E, the engine suddenly quit. He stated that the airplane was equipped with a backup ignition and a backup electric fuel pump. He stated that he was in the process of switching from the primary systems to the backup when he inadvertently stalled the airplane. He stated that there were no deficiencies in the flight control system of the airplane. The pilot stated that it was his belief that the fire started before the airplane's impact with the ground.

The airplane was powered by a converted Chevrolet 8 cylinder water cooled engine. According to the pilot/builder, subsequent to the accident he disassembled the engine. He stated that the engine itself was intact and that he found no mechanical problems with it. He said that the accessories such as the carburetor and ignition systems had been destroyed by the fire. He stated that he did find a fuel fitting that was not fire damaged. It had broken off at the boss but he could not determine whether the fitting had broken off prior to impact or if it was a result of the impact.

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