NTSB Identification: CHI01LA189.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 26, 2001 in HUDSON, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/23/2001
Aircraft: Bellanca 7KCAB, registration: N86960
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 said he was cruising at 9,500 feel mean sea level on a direct course from Rochester, Wisconsin, to Kent State, Ohio. Approximately 2 hours into the flight the engine sputtered and quit. The pilot said he attempted to restart the engine but was unsuccessful. The pilot said, "[I] Asked Toledo Approach for a vector to the nearest airport. [I] Tried to make Adrian (Lenawee County Airport, Adrian, Michigan), but could not." The pilot said he selected a green field and proceeded with a "dead stick landing". The pilot said, "On roll out [I] noticed [a] drainage ditch and tried to maneuver to avoid it, but [the] RT gear went over the edge and [the] plane came to [an] abrupt stop." An examination of the airplane's fuel tanks showed right fuel tank empty and the left fuel tank full of fuel. The screens in the two fuel pick-up ports in the left fuel tank were completely blocked with debris. No other anomalies with the airplane were found. Later examination of the fuel pick-up fittings and finger screens revealed the debris to be hardened mud and mulch similar to that found in nests made by wasps. The airplane underwent an annual inspection 6 days before the accident. The airplane was flown to American Champion, Rochester, Wisconsin, to have new wings installed 3 days before the accident. Annual inspection criteria calls for the finger strainers in the pick-up fittings to be pulled and inspected for screen damage and debris. At the factory, the fuel pick-up fittings were determined serviceable and re-installed in the new wings' fuel tanks. According to the owner/pilot, the airplane flew 8 hours between the annual inspection and the accident.

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

Unsuitable terrain for landing encountered by the pilot during the forced landing attempt. Factors relating to this accident were fuel starvation caused by foreign material blocking the fuel tank lines which led to the engine failure, annual inspection criteria not complied with, and the ditch.

Full narrative available

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