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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44136
Last updated: 29 December 2019
This record is based on the official accident investigation report. It has been locked for editing.

Type:Silhouette image of generic RV6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Van's RV-6
Registration: N655VT
C/n / msn: 60536
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Death Valley, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Death Valley Na, CA (L06)
Destination airport:Blythe, CA (BLH)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The airplane lost engine power during the takeoff initial climb, and nosed over during the ensuing forced landing. The accident pilot radioed that he was having fuel problems and attempted to land just south of the airport. The airplane touched down in soft sand and nosed over. The recovery crew that retrieved the wreckage reported that both fuel tanks contained a substantial amount of fuel. An inspection of the airplane was performed. Trace amounts of fuel were found in the fuel system between the electric fuel pump and the fuel distributor. No fuel was found in the fuel distributor. The electric fuel pump was inoperative when tested. An operative electrical fuel pump and fuel source was connected to the airplane and the engine was started with no difficulties, but because of the damaged propeller, the engine was not run at full power. A magneto check was performed and found to be within the normal range. The right wing fuel tank had an inverted fuel pick-up and the left wing fuel tank had a standard pick-up. Both pick-ups were clean with no debris and free of blockage. The airplane was equipped with an Airflow Performance electric fuel pump, in addition to the engine driven fuel pump. According to the manufacturer of the electric fuel pump, an optional fuel purge system kit that would allow the pilot to purge hot fuel from the fuel lines with cooler fuel to help prevent vapor lock was available. The accident airplane was not equipped with the fuel purge system. The accident airplane's fuel system was installed so if the electric fuel pump became inoperative and the pump was not blocked, the engine driven fuel pump would be able to draw fuel out of the fuel tanks. A representative of the fuel pump manufacturer stated that the fuel pump could run dry for about 1 to 2 minutes before it would fail due to lack of lubrication.
Probable Cause: a fuel starvation induced loss of engine power due to a likely vapor lock condition in the fuel lines.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
16-Jan-2017 19:13 junior sjc Updated [Narrative]
22-Feb-2017 06:44 junior sjc Updated [Narrative]
05-Dec-2017 10:12 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]