The sport pilot/mechanic reported that the accident happened on the first flight in the experimental, amateur-built Ginny B after he installed an overhauled engine.
About 30 minutes after takeoff, the engine experienced a sudden and total loss of power and would not restart. The pilot conducted a forced landing to a grass field near South Harrison Township, N.J., and the airplane nosed over.
The pilot and another mechanic subsequently performed a condition inspection of the airplane and found that fuel had leaked from the gascolator between the glass cup and metal frame.
They also found that the gascolator bale clamp was not safety-wired, which allowed the clamp to loosen and subsequently relax the seal between the glass cup and the metal frame and the fuel to leak.
Probable cause: The pilot/mechanic’s failure to safety-wire the gascolator bale clamp, which resulted in a fuel leak and subsequent total loss of engine power.
NTSB Identification: ERA16LA153
This April 2016 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.
This kind of situation can occur in any aircraft when there is major work done- a failure after return to service.
This aircraft had a Subaru engine replaced with an O-200 Cont. I’ll assume that the gascolator was added as part of the O-200 install. Even if is was part of the original fuel system, failing to secure and ensure that the gascolator was leak free during a ground run is poor work.
Then to fly away from the airport without flying for 20-30 minutes within gliding distance of the airport was a poor pilot decision.
The 1961 Cessna that I fly has a similar glass gascolator. It also did not have a safety wire on the bale until I noticed it during an annual. It never leaked, but I added a safety wire after checking the tightness of the bale nut.