NTSB Identification: CHI96LA023.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 29, 1995 in LAPEER, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/08/1997
Aircraft: AERONCA 7AC, registration: N84124
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE AIRPLANE HAD CLIMBED TO 500 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL AFTER TAKEOFF WHEN THE ENGINE LOST POWER. THE PILOT TURNED THE AIRPLANE AROUND TO LAND ON THE OPPOSITE RUNWAY. WHEN THE AIRPLANE CROSSED THE APPROACH END OF THE RUNWAY, 'THE ENGINE STARTED RUNNING AGAIN.' BEFORE THE PILOT COULD CLOSE THE THROTTLE, 'THE AIRPLANE BALLOONED INTO THE AIR.' BECAUSE OF HIS ALTITUDE AND A 10 KNOT TAILWIND, THE PILOT DETERMINED THAT HE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO LAND THE AIRPLANE WITHOUT RUNNING OFF THE END OF THE RUNWAY. HE THEN DECIDED TO ATTEMPT A LANDING ON THE AIRPORT'S DIAGONAL RUNWAY WHICH REQUIRED THE PILOT TO EXECUTE A LEFT 130 DEGREE HEADING CHANGE AT LOW ALTITUDE AND AIRSPEED. THE AIRPLANE 'STALLED,' AND IMPACTED THE TERRAIN LEFT WING FIRST. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE SHOWED NO EVIDENCE OF FUEL AT THE ACCIDENT SITE. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE'S FUEL SYSTEM SHOWED NO INDICATIONS OF FUEL PRIOR TO IMPACT. THE AIRPLANE DID NOT HAVE FUEL QUANTITY INDICATOR INSTALLED.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

fuel exhaustion resulting in engine failure, the inadvertant stall, and improper decision by the pilot to attempt a large heading change at low altitude and airspeed. A factor relating to this accident is no fuel quantity gage installed in the airplane.

Full narrative available

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