The pilot flew the Pitts S1S for about 30 minutes and then returned to the airport in Wellington, Kansas, for landing. As the plane approached the airport, the engine lost power, and the pilot made a forced landing short of the runway.
Fuel was found onboard, and it was not contaminated. Testing of the engine’s fuel pump revealed that the fuel pressure oscillated due to a malfunctioning relief valve in the fuel pump.
It is likely that the engine lost fuel pressure and subsequent power during the accident flight as a result of the malfunctioning fuel pump.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the loss of engine power due to a malfunctioning fuel pump.
NTSB Identification: CEN14LA033
This October 2013 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.