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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 44675
Last updated: 6 March 2020
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-6A
Registration: N85MM
C/n / msn: 20034
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Joliet, IL -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Joliet, IL (JOT)
Destination airport:Romeoville, IL (LOT)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The amateur-built airplane was destroyed during a forced landing shortly after takeoff in night visual meteorological conditions. A witness reported that the pilot landed about 1930 cdt and taxied to the fuel pumps, but no fuel was available until the next morning. The witness offered to drain 5 gallons of fuel from an airplane nearby. The pilot declined the offer of fuel and told the witness that he intended to fly to another airport located about 10 miles away, and obtain fuel there. The witness reported that the pilot "didn't seem concerned about fuel" and the he "didn't say anything about his flight plan." Another witness reported that he observed the airplane depart. He reported that the pilot taxied the airplane about 150 yards from the fuel pumps to runway 12. He reported that the pilot did not do an engine run-up or magneto check before departing. He reported that the airplane became airborne within the first one-third of the runway. The airplane climbed to 500 - 700 feet above ground level and about the time that it cleared runway 12, the engine backfired twice and quit. He reported that the airplane made a right hand turn and impacted the terrain about 5 - 7 seconds after the engine stopped running. The witness did not report hearing the engine running after it backfired. Witnesses who live near the accident site reported hearing the airplane's engine prior to impact. One witness reported observing the airplane "spiraling" down. A lieutenant of the police department reported that there was no evidence of a fuel spill at the accident site. He reported that the fire department did not wash down the accident site with water since there was no evidence of fuel. Inspection of the accident site revealed the following conditions: 1) No fuel odor apparent in or around the aircraft. 2) No signs of a fuel spill or fuel leaking in the vicinity of the crash site. 3) No fuel in the left or right fuel tank. 4) No signs of a fuel fire. The airplane's fuel tanks held a total of 38 gallons. Pages from a maintenance form used for recording engine performance parameters, such as altitude, rpm, manifold pressure, fuel flow, cylinder head temperature, and exhaust gas temperature, were found in the airplane following the accident. The recordings indicated the average fuel flow was about 12.2 gph at 4,500 feet mean sea level at 2,700 rpm. Flight control continuity was established between the cockpit controls and their respective flight control surfaces. The propeller was broken free of the engine at the propeller flange. Both propeller blades exhibited leading edge gouging, chordwise scratching, and blade twist. The data downloaded from the pilot's Garmin GPS 296 indicated that the airplane departed Erie, Pennsylvania, about 1751 eastern daylight time, and arrived at Joliet, Illinois, about 1940 central daylight time, a distance of 437 nautical miles traveled in 2 hours and 49 minutes. The pilot started to taxi at 1952 cdt and departed on the accident flight.

Probable Cause: The total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's inadequate preflight and inadequate fuel consumption calculations, also causal was the pilot's failure to maintain aircraft control during the forced landing. A factor was the night condition.



Revision history:

28-Oct-2008 00:45 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:24 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
07-Dec-2017 18:30 ASN Update Bot Updated [Source, Narrative]