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N44351 accident description

Michigan map... Michigan list
Crash location 45.055833°N, 85.355833°W
Nearest city Eastport, MI
45.107226°N, 85.350073°W
3.6 miles away
Tail number N44351
Accident date 14 Aug 2013
Aircraft type Taylorcraft BC12-D1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On August 14, 2013, at 1120 eastern daylight time, a Taylorcraft BC12-D1, N44351, was destroyed when it was consumed by fire after it landed at the Torchport Airport (59M), located near Easport, Michigan. The pilot, the sole occupant, was uninjured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of the 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan was filed. The airplane departed Traverse City, Michigan, about 1050.

The pilot stated that he noticed the smell of gasoline while in cruise flight about 5 to 8 miles from 59M. When the airplane entered the traffic pattern on downwind, the smell of the gasoline became much stronger. During the flare the engine quit, and he could smell a very strong odor that he described as being a burnt metal smell. After landing, he departed the airplane quickly. About 45 seconds later, flames started coming out of the left side of the engine cowl. The fire spread and within 15 minutes the fire had consumed most of the airplane.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage. He observed that the highest fire intensity was located on the left rear side of the engine; however, the source of the fire was not determined.

The pilot reported that the maintenance logbooks and records were kept in the airplane and were consumed in the fire. The last annual inspection was in October 2012. The pilot flew the airplane for about 2.5 hours as part of the post maintenance check. He did not fly the airplane during the winter months. He flew for 1 hour and 15 minutes on a flight before the accident flight. He stated that the airplane flew fine and there were no indications of any anomalies. There was no maintenance performed on the fuel lines, carburetor, or gascolator after the 1+15 hour flight.

NTSB Probable Cause

A fuel leak in the engine compartment and subsequent fire, the source of which could not be determined because of extensive postaccident fire damage.

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