NTSB Identification: SEA01LA037.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 10, 2001 in Cottage Grove, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/02/2002
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-1B, registration: N9988L
Injuries: 2 Serious.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The instructor (pilot-in-command) and student (aircraft owner) checked the Grumman AA-1B's fuel supply believing they had about 1/4 tank (left) and 3/4 tank (right) prior to departing on the instructional flight. Airwork at high altitude was completed, and then the aircraft was taken into the pattern for practice touch and go landings. During the initial climb following the first touch and go, and not more than 200 feet above ground, the engine abruptly stopped and the propeller was reported to stop rotating. The instructor took control of the aircraft, maneuvering away from trees and towards a landing site, while the student selected the right fuel tank and turned on the fuel boost pump, but did not engage the starter. The aircraft impacted trees during the forced landing. Fuel and aircraft log records indicated that under the best conditions (assumption of full tanks, i.e. 22 gallons useable fuel total on 09/29/00) the aircraft had a total 35.6 gallons of usable fuel expended over a duration of 7.4 Hobbs hours from 09/29/00, to the time of the accident (approximately 4.81gallons/hour average burn). The fuel selector was reported on the left fuel tank at the time of the power loss and found on the right fuel tank at the accident site. The fuel system was checked following the accident and was found to be capable of delivering fuel to the carburetor. The engine was examined and no anomalies were found. The carburetor was flow checked and disassembled and no discrepancies were found. Serious carburetor icing conditions were found to exist at the time of the accident.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The flight instructor's failure to ensure (supervision) the student had an adequate supply of fuel available, and the student's failure to refuel the aircraft sufficently resulting in a fuel starvation/exhaustion condition and total power loss. Contributing factors were the trees and unsuitable terrain at the forced landing site. Full narrative available
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