NTSB Identification: SEA02LA013.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 13, 2001 in Brewster, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/20/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N5762A
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 pilot reported that this was the first flight after the aircraft had been completely restored. The start, taxi and takeoff were normal. During the climb, at about 150 feet AGL, the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot was unable to return to the airport, therefore he chose to land on a Highway that parallels the airport. The road was initially clear of traffic until a truck came over a rise. The pilot maneuvered the aircraft to the side of the road and just before touch down, the left wing struck a tree which spun the aircraft to the left. The main landing gear collapsed and the right wing contacted the surface. After the accident, the pilot immediately exited the aircraft, then returned to secure the cockpit when it was safe. The pilot found that the magneto switches, which are unguarded toggle switches located on the lower left side of the wall, were off. The pilot reported that he did not recall turning off the switches prior to exiting the aircraft. After the aircraft was moved back to the airport, the engine was started and run for several minutes with no evidence of a mechanical failure or malfunction noted.

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

The magneto was inadvertently switched off by the pilot during the climb. A tree was a factor.

Full narrative available

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