CEN09LA345
CEN09LA345

On June 9, 2009, approximately 0930 mountain daylight time, a home-built Aerolite 103, N43598, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Los Lunas, New Mexico. The sport pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to a statement provided by the pilot, he was flying his airplane near the home of one of his relatives. The engine "stalled" as he passed over the residence and he decided to land on a nearby gravel road. However, during the attempt, the pilot decided that he could not land safely on the road, so he made a "sharp right turn" and descended towards an open field. During the landing, he collided with an obstruction that was later described as a brown metal pipe that was approximately 3 to 4 feet high.

A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector responded to the accident scene and established flight control continuity to all control surfaces. The airplane was equipped with two 5-gallon "red gas containers" utilized as fuel tanks. One tank contained approximately 2.5 gallons of fuel, while the other tank was empty. The fuel selector was discovered selecting the empty tank. The engine was removed from the airplane and mounted on a stand. Under supervision of the FAA, the engine was run successfully under various power settings. An inspection of the airframe and other airplane systems failed to reveal any anomalies.

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