Accident Cassutt III-1 N43SJ, Saturday 14 July 2018
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Date:Saturday 14 July 2018
Time:10:00 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic CASS model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Cassutt III-1
Registration: N43SJ
MSN: 1
Year of manufacture:1973
Total airframe hrs:669 hours
Engine model:Continental O-200
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Rosamond, Kern County, CA -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Rosamond, CA (L00)
Destination airport:Rosamond, CA (L00)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot was departing in his experimental, amateur-built airplane configured for aerial racing. He reported that when the airplane entered its initial climb and was about 50 ft above ground level, the engine performance reduced by about 300 rpm. The pilot attempted to continue the takeoff to complete a circuit in the airport traffic pattern. A witness saw the airplane turn left, and the nose immediately dropped and impacted the ground, followed by the right side of the airplane. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the forward fuselage and right wing. It is likely that, while the pilot was maneuvering at low altitude after the partial loss of engine power, he failed to maintain adequate airspeed, which resulted in the airplane exceeding its critical angle of attack and a subsequent accelerated stall.
Postaccident examination of the engine and most of the accessories did not reveal any preimpact mechanical anomalies. However, a teardown of the carburetor showed multiple discrepancies, the most notable of which was a loose primary venturi. This condition is likely to have caused the partial loss of engine power during takeoff due to the delivery of inconsistent vacuum pressure and a disruption in fuel flow. An airworthiness directive (AD) issued 20 years before the accident required that the venturi be inspected at each annual, 100-hour, or conditional inspection. It is unknown if this AD was complied with, as the pilot/owner did not possess any records that showed the carburetor's maintenance history.

Probable Cause: The pilot's failure to maintain adequate airspeed during a low-altitude maneuver after a partial loss of engine power, which resulted in exceedance of the airplane's critical angle of attack and a subsequent accelerated stall. Contributing to the accident was a loose primary venturi in the carburetor due to improper maintenance, which resulted in a disruption in fuel flow and the subsequent partial loss of engine power.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR18LA196
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 3 years
Download report: Final report


FAA register:


Revision history:

19-Jul-2018 15:59 Captain Adam Added
19-Jul-2018 17:00 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Phase, Source, Narrative]
09-Jul-2022 05:42 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

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