NTSB Identification: CHI02LA213.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 24, 2002 in Malta, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/2003
Aircraft: Weatherly 201C, registration: N1296W
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 collided with a corn crop during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. The pilot reported the airplane experienced a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff. He reported that the fuel pressure indicated "ok", but he turned the fuel boost pump on anyway. He selected a road on which to land, but was unable to land on it because of vehicle traffic. He then decided to land in a corn field that was next to the road. The corn field contained a crop that was 6 to 7 feet tall. The pilot reported the airplane traveled for about 25 yards prior to the left main gear being torn out. The airplane came to rest upright. The pilot reported there was a "small oil fire" in the engine compartment which he extinguished. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed signatures of an inflight fire. The carburetor did not show any evidence of fire. The carburetor and fuel pump functioned normally when bench tested. Some of the fuel lines were completely burned away. Those that weren't were found partially burned were still connected. The engine was rotated by hand. Compression and engine continuity were established on all cylinders. The reason for the loss of engine power was not determined.

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

The inflight fire and loss of engine power due to undetermined reasons. Factors associated with the accident were the lack of suitable terrain on which to land and the corn crop which was contacted during the landing.

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