Accident CZAW SportCruiser N251SC, Wednesday 7 October 2020
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Date:Wednesday 7 October 2020
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRUZ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
CZAW SportCruiser
Registration: N251SC
MSN: 08SC088
Year of manufacture:2008
Engine model:Rotax 912 ULS
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:near Waterloo, AL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:McKinney National Airport, TX (KTKI)
Destination airport:Oliver Springs Inc Airport, TN (TN08)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
On October 7, 2020, about 1230 central daylight time, a Czech Aircraft Works Sportcruiser, N251SC, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain near Waterloo, Alabama. The commercial pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the pilot’s spouse, he departed on the morning of the accident to return home from a cross-country trip. A search was initiated when the pilot did not return as expected, and the airplane was found in a heavily wooded area about 45 nautical miles from an intermediate airport where the pilot had stopped to refuel.

Examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies with the flight controls and the examination of the engine did not reveal any anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. An examination of the fuel system revealed that an aftermarket electric automotive fuel pump was used in place of the recommended manufacturer’s fuel pump. The fuel pump was removed and connected directly to a 12-volt power source, and it did not operate. This type of fuel pump did not allow fuel bypass in the event of failure. According to the engine manufacturer’s fuel system installation instructions and a safety directive published by the airframe manufacturer, a bypass fuel line should be installed in the event of failure of the electric fuel pump, in order to enable a continuous supply of fuel to the engine.

Based on the available information, it is likely that the pilot experienced a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation following the failure of the electric fuel pump. Also causal was the pilot’s decision to install the electric fuel pump with no bypass fuel line, contrary to published guidance from the airframe and engine manufacturers.

Probable Cause: The improper configuration of the airplane’s fuel system, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation following the failure of the electric fuel pump.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: ERA21FA010
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 3 months
Download report: Final report


NTSB (photo)



Photo: NTSB


Revision history:

08-Oct-2020 11:07 gerard57 Added
08-Oct-2020 14:47 RobertMB Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Location, Source, Narrative]
09-Oct-2020 06:59 Captain Adam Updated [Source, Embed code, Narrative]

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