BRIEFS

Pilot - - SAFETY MATTERS -

LOW­ERED HORI­ZON

The Gar­dan Hori­zon’s pilot re­ported that while con­duct­ing pre-flight checks, the fuel drain sam­ple con­tained water, which he said was com­mon for this air­craft. He drained the fuel un­til he ob­tained a clear sam­ple, then took fur­ther sam­ples, in­clud­ing after re­fu­elling, un­til sat­is­fied that the tanks were free from con­tam­i­na­tion. After take­off from Coven­try, while climb­ing to 2,000ft, the en­gine be­gan to run rough. The pilot turned on the fuel pump and in­formed ATC he would be re­turn­ing to Coven­try, but the rpm con­tin­ued to re­duce and the en­gine sub­se­quently stopped. He se­lected a dif­fer­ent fuel tank and restarted the en­gine, but the air­craft could not main­tain height. He chose a field in which to land, elect­ing to keep the un­der­car­riage re­tracted due to the ground con­di­tions and to max­imise the glide range (the Hori­zon’s flaps ex­tend fully when the land­ing gear is low­ered). The forced land­ing was suc­cess­ful and nei­ther oc­cu­pant was in­jured, although the air­craft suf­fered dam­age to its en­gine, pro­peller, lower fuse­lage and land­ing gear. The pilot con­sid­ered that the en­gine fail­ure might have been caused by water con­tam­i­na­tion in the fuel, car­bon build-up on the spark plugs, or some other prob­lem.

PH OT O: AL AN GA RD EN ER AR CH IV E

Like any air­craft, the Gar­dan Hori­zon can be sub­ject to water in the fuel

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