NTSB Identification: LAX03LA041.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, November 27, 2002 in Woodland, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2004
Aircraft: Clyde K Carrier Team 1400Z, registration: N9190U
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 experienced a partial loss of engine power and collided with a ditch during a forced landing. About 800 feet above ground level (agl), the engine experienced a partial loss of engine power and was unable to sustain level flight. With a field below the airplane, the pilot initiated a sharp descent in an effort to make a forced landing. Upon touchdown, he stalled the airplane just before reaching an irrigation ditch. The wood reinforced plywood body of the airplane sustained damage upon impact. After the accident, the pilot conducted an examination of the airplane; he found no mechanical anomalies with the engine or airframe. He noted that prior to the accident flight he had installed new vented wing fuel caps, which were located in a negative pressure area of the wing. He opined that the low pressure area created a vacuum in the gravity fed fuel tank, restricting fuel flow to the engine, which resulted in a partial loss of power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the builder/pilot's improper modification of wing fuel caps resulting in the failure of the vent system to adequately compensate for the pressure differential between the fuel tank and the external low pressure area of the wing. This led to the partial loss of engine power in cruise flight due to fuel starvation, and a forced landing. Full narrative available
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