SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The main metering jet of the carburetor of a plane Harrison Ford was piloting had become unseated, resulting in loss of engine power and forcing the actor to land the plane hard in a Santa Monica golf course, NTSB investigators said Thursday.
The National Transportation Safety Board issued the probable cause of the March 5 plane crash into Penmar Golf Course in Venice, just after the aircraft took off from Santa Monica Airport as "a total loss of engine power during initial climb when the carburetor main metering jet became unseated, which led to an extremely rich fuel-to-air ratio. Contributing to the accident was the lack of adequate carburetor maintenance instructions."
The aircraft was a vintage Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, and NTSB officials said a review of the plane's maintenance records showed the carburetor was rebuilt during its restoration about 17 years before the accident. NTSB officials said there were no pertinent instructions for the installation of the jet assemblies and it did not appear the carburetor had not been maintained or inspected for the past 17 years.
Ford, 72, underwent surgery for a broken ankle and pelvis following the crash, according to family sources. NTSB officials also said an improperly installed shoulder harness contributed to the severity of the pilot's injuries.
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