NTSB Identification: SEA02LA134.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 13, 2002 in Kittitas, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/30/2003
Aircraft: Champion 7ECA, registration: N9542S
Injuries: 2 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 (front seat) accompanied by the individual (rear seat pilot) who had recently purchased the aircraft departed Colfax, Washington, en route to Kent, Washington. The amount of fuel available was not adequately verified by the pilot and after flying over 150 statute miles the aircraft's engine lost power and the pilot executed a forced landing on rocky terrain. The rear seat pilot reported that subsequent to the forced landing he checked the right wing fuel tank low point drain and observed only enough gas to moisten his thumb. A check of the left wing fuel tank low point drain yielded a steady stream of gas, but when he returned to the aircraft the following day to begin recovery procedures he was unable to siphon any gas from either tank. He also noted that there was no significant gas observed when the wings were removed from the airframe.

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

The pilot's failure to conduct an adequate preflight inspection of the fuel resulting in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent forced landing. A contributing factor was the rocky terrain encountered during the forced landing.

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