WPR09CA225
WPR09CA225

The pilot/owner and a pilot rated passenger flew to a local airport for a brief stop, and then continued to another nearby airport where the passenger did a touch-and-go. He had begun a slight right turn during the climb out from the touch-and-go when the engine lost power about 250 feet above ground level (agl). The owner took control, turned back to the left, and tried to land on the end of the runway. He leveled off slightly about 20 feet agl, and then flared for landing. The airplane landed hard on the north side of the runway, and the right wheel broke off. The landing gear dug into the turf; the airplane spun 180 degrees, and the right main landing gear collapsed. The airframe around the tail wheel and rudder sustained substantial damage. The owner indicated that the airplane had a header tank that was the only fuel supply for the engine in addition to the wing tanks that were used to supply the header tank. He used an electric fuel pump to manually transfer fuel from the wing tanks to the header tank. He stated that he usually doesn't let the header tank get less than half full since the fuel pick-up port for the engine driven pump is at the front of the tank. He said that he probably let the fuel level get too low on this flight. During the climb out with the nose up, he surmised that the header tank fuel pick-up unported, resulting in the loss of power.

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