Accident CSA PiperSport N802PS, Wednesday 22 April 2020
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Date:Wednesday 22 April 2020
Time:11:10 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic CRUZ model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
CSA PiperSport
Owner/operator:Platinum Aviation
Registration: N802PS
MSN: P1001032
Year of manufacture:2010
Total airframe hrs:1404 hours
Engine model:Rotax 912ULS
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Logan-Cache Airport, UT (LGU/KLGU) -   United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport:Logan-Cache Airport, UT (LGU/KLGU)
Destination airport:Salt Lake City, UT (U42)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The student pilot was making his second solo cross-country flight. He completed the first leg and shut down the engine. When he restarted the engine to begin the next leg of the flight, it momentarily lost power during the magneto check, and he shut it down. After consulting his flight instructor by cell phone, he again started the engine, but the electric fuel pump sounded much louder than usual, so he shut the engine down. On the third engine start, the electric fuel pump remained louder than normal, and he noticed that the fuel pressure was fluctuating. The fuel pressure recovered to 3.5 pounds per square inch (psi), and he completed a normal engine run-up.

Shortly thereafter, the pilot departed. As the airplane reached about 50 to 100 ft above ground level, the engine surged, and he noticed that the fuel pressure had decreased to 1.0 psi. He retarded the throttle to land. The airplane touched down hard and sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

After the accident, the engine was started and run for several minutes multiple times with no anomalies noted. Testing of the electric fuel pump revealed that it made a loud noise when air passed through it; therefore, the noise heard by the pilot during the engine starts was likely due to air in the fuel system. The accident airplane did not have a fuel bypass around the electric fuel pump, which the engine manufacture's installation instructions warn is a necessary safeguard.

Examination of onboard engine monitoring data revealed that during the climb, the fuel pressure suddenly decreased to 1.1 psi, and the fuel flow simultaneously reached 9.8 gallons per hour. The fuel flow continued to oscillate indicating that the fuel flow to the engine was experiencing intermittent interruptions consistent with fuel vaporizing in the fuel lines (vapor lock).

Probable Cause: A partial loss of engine power during takeoff due to vapor lock.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR20LA145
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 4 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

21-Aug-2022 18:59 ASN Update Bot Added

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