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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 73488
Last updated: 21 November 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic VEZE model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Rutan VariEze
Owner/operator:Blanchette Charles T
Registration: N50894
C/n / msn: 1160
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:West of Gila River Indian Community Reservation, Laveen, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Bisbee, AZ (DUG)
Destination airport:Glendale, AZ (GEU)
Investigating agency: NTSB
During a cross-country flight, the pilot reported to air traffic control that the airplane's engine lost power. Later in the day, the wreckage was located on rough and uneven terrain. The first responder to the accident site reported that the airplane was inverted, and the injured pilot was trapped inside. While waiting for medical and rescue personnel, the pilot stated that he had run out of fuel and the engine had stopped running. Both wings of the airplane and its canard were found separated from the fuselage. There was a faint smell of auto fuel at the accident site, but no signs of fuel spillage in the soil or surrounding area.

After the wreckage was recovered, two Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspectors and a representative from the engine manufacturer examined the remains. They drained approximately 1/2 cup of liquid from the gascolator and estimated that it consisted of approximately 95 percent rust-contaminated water and 5 percent clear fluid, which was likely automobile gasoline. The bowl of the gascolator was found rusted and contained a reddish sludge. The engine exhibited drive train continuity and no abnormalities were identified which would have prevented normal operation. The airplane's maintenance records and pilot's flight log book were not located. The pilot's family members reported to Safety Board investigators that his medical condition precluded an interview or having him provide a written statement.
Probable Cause: A loss of engine power during cruise flight due to fuel exhaustion.



Revision history:

17-Mar-2010 23:27 Digitalis Added
18-Mar-2010 01:46 RobertMB Updated [Aircraft type, Cn, Operator, Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 15:56 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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