Clogged fuel filter brings down Tiger

Aircraft: Grumman Tiger. Injuries: None. Location: Navada, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.

What reportedly happened: According to the pilot, the airplane was at cruise flight at 3,000 feet when the engine sputtered and lost power. Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful, so the pilot made a forced landing in a plowed field.

The post-accident engine examination revealed the fuel filter contained considerable debris that resembled paint chips. The pilot said the airplane had recently been painted. The engine was test run with a clean fuel filter and it operated satisfactorily.

The fuel system between the fuel tanks and the electric fuel pump was pressurized and checked for leaks. Two leaks were found, and fuel stains were noted in the area of the leaks. However, investigators determined that it was unlikely that these two leaks could cause a loss of engine power.

Probable cause: The loss of engine power due to debris obstructing the fuel filter, which resulted in fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate airspeed during the forced landing, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall.

NTSB Identification: CEN11LA084

This November 2010 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

Comments

  1. christophelabrosse says:

    That’s incredible that something like that could happen. Good thing nobody was seriously injured or killed. I guess those aviation filters really are pretty important.

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