While the commercial pilot was maneuvering the Ercoupe 415CD during a local flight, the engine lost total power.
Unable to restart the engine, he made a forced landing to a road near Aurora, Colorado.
After landing, he saw a car on the road and attempted to turn the airplane to the right, however, the right wing hit a road sign and a barbed wire fence.
Post-accident testing revealed that the engine-driven fuel pump was not functional. This meant the fuel in the main tanks could not be transferred to the header tank.
The loss of engine power was likely the result of fuel starvation after the available fuel in the header tank had been depleted.
Although the airplane was equipped with a header tank fuel gauge, the pilot failed to identify that the fuel level in the header tank was decreasing prematurely.
Probable cause: The failure of the engine-driven fuel pump and the pilot’s failure to identify the pump’s failure, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel starvation and a forced landing on a road, during which the airplane hit obstacles.
NTSB Identification: CEN18LA034
This November 2017 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.