NTSB Identification: LAX00LA295.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 12, 2000 in NEWELL, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/17/2001
Aircraft: Champion 7GCAA, registration: N9648S
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

During the cross-country flight, the engine lost power and the airplane force landed in an open field. On landing roll, the left main wheel struck a depression collapsing the left main landing gear. Prior to departure, during her preflight inspection, the pilot had determined that the fuel tanks were full. After about 2 hours of flight, the pilot and her pilot-rated passenger elected to divert to an intermediate destination because of up and down drafts. Shortly after contacting approach control to receive flight following to the divert airfield, the engine sputtered and quit. Several hours after the accident a sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene. He reported no evidence of fuel spillage. A recovery crew got to the airplane 5 days later. The recovery personnel discovered that the fuel tank caps were in place and fit snugly, the fuel gascolator had been broken off, the fuel valve was in the 'OFF' position, there was no evidence of fuel spillage, and 2 gallons of fuel remained in the airplane, all in the right wing tank. The spark plugs had a normal appearance, cylinder compressions were good, and the intake and exhaust systems were open. The carburetor bowl was empty. The engine appeared capable of operating. Unusable fuel for the airplane is 1 gallon. During the postcrash examination, the right fuel tank vent check valve was inoperable.

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

A hidden depression in the ground that resulted in the collapse of the landing gear during the forced landing roll.

Full narrative available

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