About 1,500 Ft Mean Sea Level, The Engine Suddenly Lost All Power
Location: Wake, VA Accident Number: ERA21LA005
Date & Time: October 1, 2020, 11:25 Local Registration: N512FH
Aircraft: FOKKER DR1 Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under:
On October 1, 2020, at 1125 eastern daylight time, an experimental Fokker DR1 airplane, N512FH, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Wake, Virginia. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight. According to the pilot, prior to the flight he “topped off” the fuel tank adding about 6 gallons of fuel. He departed the Hummel Field Airport (W75), Saluda, Virginia, for a local flight at 1100. About 25 minutes after takeoff while in cruise flight, about 1,500 ft mean sea level, the engine suddenly lost all power.
There were no precursor indications, it did not “surge, sputter or misfire.” The propeller remained windmilling. The pilot attempted to restart the engine but was unsuccessful. As the airplane slowed to about 60 knots, the propeller stopped windmilling. While descending for a forced landing to a field, the airplane struck a wire, and slowed “substantially.” During landing the airplane impacted the edge of a bean field and nosed over into the adjacent grass field. After the airplane came to rest, the pilot noticed fuel leaking from the fuel tank filler neck.
Examination of the accident site by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane sustained substantial damage to the upper wing, 3 ft inboard of the wingtip. The fuselage structure was deformed near the right landing gear strut attach point. Continuity of the flight controls was confirmed. The engine controls were exercised and operated normally. Fuel sampled from the fuel tank was blue and absent of contaminants. The fuel inlet line was disconnected from the carburetor, and no fuel ran out from the line. First responders reported to the inspector that “several gallons” of fuel had leaked from the fuel filler neck onto the ground. A fuel sample taken from the airport fueling station was blue in color and absent of contaminants.
The wreckage was retained for further examination.