Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Aviation Accident

Quick Launch

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA094
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 29, 2017 in Porterville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/06/2018
Aircraft: YAKOVLEV YAK 52, registration: N132MD
Injuries: 1 Minor, 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.

The airline transport pilot reported that, during a formation flight, the engine started to run rough. Unable to maintain level flight, the pilot detached from the formation to troubleshoot the problem. The pilot noted that there were about 29 gallons of useable fuel onboard and all other indications were normal. The engine continued to lose power, and about 500 ft above the ground, the pilot elected to land in a vineyard. During landing, the airplane touched down, came to an abrupt stop, nosed over, and came to rest inverted.
Postaccident engine examination revealed small pieces of fabric in the fuel screen. In addition, some metal shavings and a small piece of metal were found in the fuel intake and carburetor inlet screen. The origins of the metal piece and shavings could not be determined. It is unlikely that the observed debris was enough to clog the fuel system; however, it is possible that there were other, non-observable pieces of debris  in the fuel system that could have resulted in decreased fuel flow and the partial loss of engine power. 

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • A partial loss of engine power due to contaminants in the fuel system that decreased the fuel flow, the source of which could not be determined.