NTSB Identification: MIA00LA220.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 12, 2000 in HARRIS, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/02/2001
Aircraft: Aeronca 65-TC, registration: N29416
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot flew to a nearby airport, landed, remained on the ground with the engine running, then elected to depart. During the initial climb about 50-100 feet agl, the engine experienced a loss of power. Unable to maintain altitude he maneuvered towards a sandbar in a river and while descending to fly beneath a trestle bridge that was between his location and the sandbar, the airplane collided with a wire beneath the bridge. The airplane veered to the right, descended and impacted with 'scrub trees/saplings' on a side of the river. Examination of the airplane revealed 'rust' from a fuel line between the header tank and the fuel shut-off valve. Removal of the rust revealed an increase in fuel flow to the carburetor. Cold differential compression testing of each cylinder revealed no cylinder was greater than 52 psi when using 80 psi as a reference. The last annual inspection occurred on February 3, 2000; the airplane had accumulated approximately 20 hours since then. No inspections were recorded between a periodic inspection on June 8, 1963, and an annual inspection December 12, 1994. The December 1994 entry indicates, 'Assembled aircraft after long term storage....' No record of fuel lines was noted.

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

The unsuitable terrain encountered by the pilot while descending for a forced landing. Contributing to the accident was the partial loss of engine power due a blocked fuel line resulting in fuel starvation.

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