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N69377 accident description

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Crash location 39.616667°N, 78.633333°W
Nearest city Flintstone, MD
39.703144°N, 78.567794°W
6.9 miles away
Tail number N69377
Accident date 30 Aug 2009
Aircraft type Myers Donald E Kitfox 4
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 30, 2009, at 0915 eastern daylight time, an experimental, amateur built, Myers Kitfox 4, N69377, collided with trees while making a force landing following a loss of engine power near Flintstone, Maryland. The pilot sustained minor injuries and the airplane incurred substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, personal flight.

The pilot stated that he took off from Potomac Airpark (W35), Berkeley Springs, West Virginia about 0845. He headed toward Greater Cumberland Regional Airport (CBE), Cumberland, Maryland, at an altitude of 2,800 feet mean sea level. About 12 miles from the airport “the engine stopped.” After multiple attempts to restart the engine, the pilot made an emergency landing in a wooded area. The airplane came to rest wedged nose down between two trees, the nose of the airplane about 3 feet off the ground and tail section about 20 feet above the ground. The pilot stated that fuel was pouring from the right wing tank as he exited the airplane and climbed down unassisted. The pilot reported that the engine had failed four times prior to the accident, and he believed that the installation of an electric fuel pump had solved the problem. The airplane was powered by a 65 horsepower, Rotax 582 DCDI, engine. Purchased in 1991, the engine was kept in storage until manufacture of the airplane was completed in April 2009.

The pilot stated to the responding Federal Aviation Administration inspector that he removed the engine’s sparkplugs and filled the cylinders with 2 stroke engine oil during its storage. The Rotax operator’s manual for the 582 DCDI engine states that “only qualified staff… trained on this particular engine are allowed to carry out maintenance and repair work.” The manual further states that, for periods of storage longer than four weeks up to one year, all engine carburetor linkages should be lubricated, all openings to the engine should be closed, and all steel parts should be sprayed with engine oil, in addition to removing the spark plugs and injecting 6 cubic centimeters of preservation oil into each cylinder and the intake of each carburetor. The engine’s maintenance manual also states that the engine should be overhauled every 300 hours or every 5 years, whichever occurs first.

The engine was examined by the FAA inspector and he stated the forward cylinder was heavily scored in a means consistent with poor lubrication. Metal debris was found in the housing of both carburetors and some “foreign matter” was found in the bowls of the carburetor. A “loud clicking noise” was heard as the propeller was rotated and the rotary valve was found to be scored, cracked, and had a hole in it. After “a few” turns of the propeller the rotary valve stopped moving and stuck in a position that cut off the fuel/oil mixture’s flow to the cylinder. The rotary valve’s oil tank was empty and the pilot stated that he had never added any oil to it in the 49 hours he flew the airplane.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power due to the lack of sufficient lubrication and the pilot/owner’s failure to adequately service the airplane’s engine.

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