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At a height of about 350 feet after a normal takeoff, the engine commenced to run roughly. The pilot considered that the problem may have been caused by part of a propeller blade becoming detached. Power was reduced and the pilot commenced to turn back towards the aerodrome. A substantial amount of height was lost during this turn, and the aircraft was seen to make a number of lateral oscillations. It then struck the ground in a tail low, wings level attitude at relatively low forward speed. No pre-impact mechanical defect was found with the engine or propeller. However, initial examination of the wreckage revealed that the fuel selector valve was very close to the "Off" position. Tests conducted on a similar aircraft indicated that with the fuel selector positioned as found, sufficient fuel was available to allow engine operation at low to moderate power settings. It was considered likely that on this occasion the fuel flow required for take-off exceeded the amount available through the selector valve. This in turn led to an excessively lean mixture, and the engine lost power. The aircraft had stalled during the attempted turn back towards the aerodrome, and the pilot had insufficient height in which to effect a recovery.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
General details
Date: 07 June 1987 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1644 approx  
Location:1 km SE Hoxton Park Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: New South Wales  
Release date: 23 February 1988  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: Serious 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Bede Aircraft Inc 
Aircraft model: Bede 
Aircraft registration: VH-ECW 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Destroyed 
Departure point:Hoxton Park NSW
Departure time:1644 approx
Destination:Hoxton Park NSW
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