On September 5, 2023, about 1942 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Vans RV-8, N772KS, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Umatilla, Florida. The pilot was not injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.
The pilot reported that after fueling his airplane fully at Umatilla Municipal Airport (X23), Umatilla, Florida, he planned to return to his home airport of Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando, Florida. He reported that about 150 ft to 200 ft above ground level, shortly after takeoff, the engine “sputtered.” He switched fuel tanks, noted that the fuel boost pump was in the on position, and the mixture was full rich. When asked if the engine lost power after switching fuel tanks, he responded saying “no, it was sputtering,” the propeller was “winding back” like the engine was not producing power, and the rpm was “way back.” The airplane impacted a lake just off the departure end of the runway substantially damaging the right wing and fuselage.
Postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the fuel line from the electric fuel boost pump to the fuel sump was fractured
The examination also found the fuel selector was operational and operated properly. Compression and suction were observed on all cylinders when the propeller was rotated through 720° of rotation.
Fuel records show the pilot bought 16.423 gallons of 100LL aviation fuel at X23 before the accident flight. Maintenance records show a condition inspection was completed on July 24, 2023.
The wreckage was retained for further examination.
Link to preliminary report