NTSB Identification: DEN01LA153.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, August 28, 2001 in Fruita, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/06/2002
Aircraft: Bradley Rans S-7, registration: N91642
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.
Shortly after takeoff (approximately 30 feet above the ground), the aircraft began to lose power. The pilot said the aircraft lost the ability to climb at about 60 feet above ground level. Due to a barn in his flight path, he turned the airplane toward an alfalfa field to make an emergency landing. The engine continued to loose power and attempts to regain engine power failed. The airplane's speed began to decrease and approach a stall. The airplane contacted the ground with its right wing first, then rotated until its heading was 180 degrees from its flight path, subsequently coming to rest against a fence. Postaccident examination of the engine by the pilot revealed that both piston rings had failed. The owner reported that the engine had approximately 4 hours of flight operation time.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: loss of engine power due to both piston rings failing, and the subsequent inadvertent stall/spin during the attempted forced landing. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.
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