NTSB Identification: ANC97LA079.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 28, 1997 in WASILLA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Piper J-5, registration: N31164
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 pilot reported a loss of engine power and subsequent forced landing in a gravel pit. He said he did not know why the engine quit, but said one of the fuel tanks still had fuel. Prior to landing in the gravel pit, the pilot said he made an emergency approach to an airstrip, and was just about to land on the runway, when the engine started again. He said he should have landed anyway, but elected to go around and fly to his own airstrip. Soon after he left the airstrip, the engine quit, and he landed in the gravel pit. A state trooper who interviewed the pilot reported the pilot told him he had just changed two cylinders on the airplane's engine, and was on a test flight. The noncertificated pilot is not an aviation mechanic, and in his report he did not indicate he had any flight experience, or that the airplane had received any of the required inspections. He did relate that he routinely flies the airplane from his private, rural airstrip.

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

The loss of engine power for an undetermined reason, and the noncertificated pilot's decision to perform a go-around after a suitable landing site had been attained. A factor associated with the accident was the rough and uneven terrain.

Full narrative available

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