NTSB Identification: CHI04LA072.
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Accident occurred Friday, February 13, 2004 in Sunburg, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: American Champion (ACAC) 8GCBC, registration: N186AC
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 sustained substantial damage when it impacted a ditch and subsequently nosed over while landing on a gravel road. The pilot stated the purpose of the flight was to take aerial photographs of several Minnesota farms. The pilot reported that while in cruise flight he had the "sudden urge to use the bathroom" and he selected a nearby gravel road to land on. The pilot stated that during landing rollout he noticed a sign on the left side of the road. While he attempted to maneuver the airplane to avoid striking the sign, the right wheel "got sucked into the ditch which was full of snow." The airplane subsequently impacted the ditch and nosed over. The airplane was configured with extended range fuel system that increased the airplane's maximum endurance to approximately 7 hours. The accident flight was reported to be approximately 5 1/2 hours in duration.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight decision to land off-airport. A factor to the accident was the snow covered ditch.

Full narrative available

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