NTSB Identification: CHI02LA104.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 14, 2002 in Gary, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/16/2003
Aircraft: Hoagland Varieze, registration: N97JW
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 contacted a light pole during a forced landing following a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. The airplane was topped off with fuel (31 gallons) prior to the four leg cross country flight. The pilot reported that on departure for the last leg the airplane veered right during the takeoff roll. Upon reaching his destination airport, he aborted the landing due to a lack of directional control. He then decided to fly to a larger near-by airport. Prior to reaching this airport, the engine lost power. The pilot selected a street on which to make a forced landing. He reported that during the landing the airplane "Veered to the right, having spun clockwise relative to the forward vector. The plane struck a city light pole." The pilot used a fuel burn of 4.5 gallons per hour based on a Continental C-85 engine. However, the engine had been modified with a crankshaft, pistons, and rods for a O-200 engine. The pilot reported that after the accident, he estimated that he burned approximately 50 percent more fuel than he calculated. Following the accident the right brake rotor was found bent and locked against the caliper. The pilot speculated that he may have hit something during the last takeoff roll.

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

The pilot was unable to maintain directional control of the airplane during the forced landing due to a locked brake. Factors associated with the accident were the pilot's inaccurate fuel consumption calculations which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the light pole.

Full narrative available

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