NTSB Identification: CHI01LA203.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 25, 2001 in Pierce, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/2002
Aircraft: Bellanca 14-13-3, registration: N29C
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane impacted a berm during a forced landing following a loss of engine power while in cruise flight. In his written statement the pilot said, "Departed from Clark [South Dakota] about 10 am on 6-25-01 with strong headwinds. About 30 min into flight fuel pressure became erratic. Using wobble pump to assist in maintaining fuel pressure landed at nearest airport. Found kinked aluminum fuel line from gascolator to fuel pump. Replaced with MILH6000 hose checked operation OK. Took off switched tanks and resume course for home. After 1 hour switched fuel tanks again and engine guit after 15 minutes of operation. Reselected prior tank and engine restarted. Landed at nearest airport Creighton (6K3). Verify left tank empty right tank 2/3 full. Discovered fuel selector placard installed incorrectly. Took off again heading to Stefan Memorial [Airport] (OFK) Norfolk, NE. 15 min later lost fuel pressure and engine quit tried to use wobble pump but was not working. Attempted to land on highway but could not make it. Landed in pasture avoiding telephone wires impacted a [berm] which bounced the aircraft up on to its nose resulting in the landing gear drag braces failing. Time now approx 3 o'clock pm." In his report, the pilot stated that there was 15 gallons of fuel on board at the last takeoff and the fuel type was automotive. The aircraft was not approved for the use of automibile fuel. An examination of the airplane failed to reveal any anomalies that could be associated with a pre-impact condition. The fuel selector was examined and was found to be working correctly and the fuel selector placard was installed correctly.

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

The improper management of the fuel system by the pilot. Factors were the fuel starvation, the pilot's lack of familiarity with the airplane, the berm, and the unsuitable terrain for landing encountered by the pilot.

Full narrative available

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