ERA11LA282
ERA11LA282

On May 4, 2011, about 1345 eastern daylight time, a Pfouts Senior Aero Sport D260, N705AP, experienced a loss of engine power and force landed near Palm Coast, Florida. The airplane was substantially damaged. The experimental, amateur-built airplane was registered to and operated by the commercial pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot was not injured. The flight originated from Pierson, Florida (2J8) about 1330.

The pilot reported that he turned off the electric boost pump shortly after takeoff, about 200 feet above the ground. He noted that his fuel pressure was low with only the engine-driven pump operating. He turned the boost pump back on and the fuel pressure returned to an acceptable level. While approaching St. Augustine, the fuel pressure again dropped, and the engine quit. The pilot force landed the airplane and it collided with trees.

Initial examination of the airframe and engine by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the wing fuel tanks contained adequate fuel; however the fuel gascolator was dry. The electric pump was a Holley automotive-type fuel pump. The pilot reported that the electric boost pump was installed the day prior to the accident. The FAA inspector reported that the engine-driven pump was overhauled in September, 2010, and the pilot reported that it was installed 40 flight hours prior to the accident.

On May 19, 2011, the FAA inspector examined both fuel pumps at a local FAA part 145 repair station. The electric fuel boost pump, which was a Holley model R90615AA automotive pump, was energized with an external electric source. The pump ran and "provided good suction at the inlet port."

The engine-driven fuel pump was a Lear Sieglar model RD7790. The pump was fitted to a fuel flow test bench and after an initial boost of 1 psi, the pump maintained a pressure of 7 to 9 psi. The FAA inspector did not find any evidence of mechanical failure or malfunction with either pump.

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