Faulty fuel pump may have caused fatal Portland crash

Posted July 29, 2010, at 5:15 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Investigators plan further examination of the fuel pump on a small plane that crashed near the Portland International Jetport, killing two people.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board noted this week that tests of the crash-damaged Yak-52 pointed toward problems with the fuel pump.

The report says there appeared to be corrosion inside the fuel pump bypass valve and fuel inlet line. A stuck bypass valve could cause the engine to become starved for fuel.

Pilot Mark Haskell of Brunswick was undergoing biannual certification and had a flight instructor with him when the Soviet training aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff on June 17. The propeller was not turning on impact, indicating that the engine had failed.