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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: CEN11LA084
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, November 27, 2010 in Navada, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/08/2012
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-5B, registration: N4541L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the pilot, he was cruising at 3,000 feet when the engine sputtered. He switched from the right fuel tank to the left fuel tank and turned the boost pump on. He said that the engine regained power, but lost power shortly thereafter, so he performed a forced landing to an open plowed field. During the landing, the airplane cleared power lines but stalled and impacted in the field. A postaccident engine examination revealed the fuel filter contained considerable debris that resembled paint chips. The pilot said the airplane had recently been painted. The engine was test run with a clean fuel filter and it operated satisfactorily. The fuel system between the fuel tanks and the electric fuel pump was pressurized and checked for leaks. Two leaks were found, and fuel stains were noted in the area of the leaks. However, it is unlikely that these two leaks could cause a loss of engine power.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The loss of engine power due to debris obstructing the fuel filter, which resulted in fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate airspeed during the forced landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.