NTSB Identification: CHI01LA029.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 22, 2000 in IOWA CITY, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/2001
Aircraft: Fowler VARIEZE, registration: N82JF
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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

The airplane lost engine power during a climb from traffic pattern altitude and the pilot executed a forced landing into a cornfield. The pilot stated, "Because of the low altitude at which the engine ceased operating, I was unable to consider any attempt to make the airport and immediately selected the best available field. The only field long enough contained standing corn about 7' in height. The aircraft was damaged while landing in the corn." The pilot reported, "I discovered subsequently that a fuel-drain petcock had been installed that was of a different type than that which had been in the aircraft previously. It was not appropriate for the location in the aircraft because the petcock position in the Vari-Eze is well up under the cowling and is difficult to observe visually. Draining the fuel sump must be done primarily by feel. The petcock had stuck partially open. I believe the that the header tank was drained through the partially open petcock during the first few minutes of flight."

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

the inadequate preflight by the pilot which resulted in the fuel drain remaining partially open. Factors to the accident were the loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, the partially open fuel drain, the unsuitable terrain for landing encountered by the pilot during the forced landing, and the corn crop.

Full narrative available

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