NTSB Identification: LAX04LA166.
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Accident occurred Thursday, March 18, 2004 in Placerville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Globe GC-1B, registration: N369BZ
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 collided with trees and terrain following a loss of engine power in the takeoff initial climb. The pilot reported that he had just dropped off a passenger and was repositioning the airplane to another airport. At 200 to 300 feet above ground level (agl) in the takeoff initial climb the engine lost power. He attempted to turn back to the runway but did not have enough altitude. He elected to stall the airplane into the trees on the south slope of the airport boundary. The accident was witnessed by personnel at the airport. The witnesses reported that the pilot was departing using runway 23, the airplane took off and did a steep, almost vertical ascent, and banked hard to the left (south). The pilot appeared to stall the airplane, as it went into the trees on the south side of the runway. The pilot held an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate and was the primary maintainer of the airplane. Federal Aviation Administration inspectors examined the wreckage at the accident scene and Safety Board investigators later examined the wreckage following recovery. Disassembly of the gascolator revealed that both the upper and lower gaskets in the gascolator were 1/8 to 3/16 inches smaller in diameter than the gascolator canister and the top and bottom covers. The investigators observed that in order to affect a seal, both gaskets had to be centered when installed. Both gaskets were off center. No fuel was observed in the fuel lines and the manifold valve was disassembled and found to be dry and void of any fuel. The manifold valve body and screen were clean. No other discrepancies were found during the engine examination.

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

a loss of engine power due to an improperly sized and installed set of sealing gaskets in the gascolator, which resulted in fuel starvation. A factor to the accident was the unsuitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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