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N770EZ accident description

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Crash location 38.721389°N, 77.515278°W
Reported location is a long distance from the NTSB's reported nearest city. This often means that the location has a typo, or is incorrect.
Nearest city Manassas, VA
38.750949°N, 77.475267°W
3.0 miles away
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Tail number N770EZ
Accident date 14 Mar 2009
Aircraft type Shniderman Ervin Stanley LONG-EZ
Additional details: None

NTSB description

On March 14th, 2009, about 1020 eastern daylight time, an amateur-built Long-EZ, N770EZ, was substantially damaged during a ground fire before takeoff from Manassas Regional Airport (HEF), Manassas, Virginia. The certificated airline transport pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules air defense identification zone flight plan was filed for the flight. The personal flight, destined for Venango Regional Airport (FKL), Franklin, Pennsylvania, was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot's written statement and a subsequent interview, during the pre-takeoff engine run-up, he experienced engine roughness upon switching to the right magneto, and attempted to resolve the issue by increasing engine rpm to 2,200 and leaning mixture. He further described that the engine ran smoothly on either magneto at 1,700 rpm, but upon increase to 2,200 rpm, the engine ran rough on the right magneto. The pilot initially elected to abort the flight, but after taxiing to his hangar and conducting some additional troubleshooting, decided to taxi the airplane back to the run-up area.

As the pilot approached the run-up area, the air traffic control tower informed him that his engine was on fire. The pilot responded by shutting down the engine, turning off the fuel selector and the electrical master switch, and exiting the airplane. Personnel from the local fixed base operator arrived shortly thereafter, and suppressed most of the fire with a dry chemical type extinguishing agent. The local off-airport fire department arrived some time later and put out the remainder of the fire with water. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine and portions of the wing in close proximity to the engine.

An examination of the wreckage was scheduled for a later date.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot held an airline transport pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and multiengine land, and a flight instructor certificate with ratings for airplane single engine, airplane multiengine, and instrument airplane. The pilot had accumulated 3,939 total hours of flight experience, and 187 hours in the accident airplane make and model. His most recent FAA second-class medical certificate was issued on February 15, 2008, with the limitation "must wear corrective lenses."

The airplane's most recent condition inspection was completed on December 29, 2008. As of that date, the airplane had accumulated 1,092 total hours of operation. According to the pilot, the accident flight was the second following the last condition inspection, and the airplane had only accumulated about 1 additional flight hour since the inspection.

The 0955 weather observation at HEF included calm winds, 7 statute miles visibility, few clouds at 1,000 feet, temperature 3 degrees Celsius (C), dewpoint 0 degrees C, and altimeter setting of 30.35 inches of mercury.

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