Aircraft: RV-10. Injuries: None. Location: Minford, Ohio. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The experimental, amateur-built airplane was in the Phase 1 flight test phase and had accumulated about four hours flight time when the accident occurred.
According to the pilot, during the accident flight he noticed low fuel flow so he activated the fuel boost pump. The fuel pressure returned to normal limits. As the airplane approached the airport, the pilot smelled smoke and saw fire in front of his right foot. He put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.
The cabin was filled with smoke, so he closed the fuel valve and opened the pilot’s side door. The door came off the aircraft and some of the smoke dissipated
. The pilot made an emergency landing in a pasture with an uphill slope.
A post-accident examination of the engine revealed a loose fuel line fitting at the mechanical fuel pump. The fire occurred along the lower fuselage skin in the center console area, which ran forward to aft between the pilot and copilot seats. The lower fuselage skin was burned through as a result of the in-flight fire.
Probable cause: A loose fuel line fitting, which caused a fuel leak and subsequent in-flight fire.
NTSB Identification: CEN11CA321
This April 2011 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