NTSB Identification: LAX04LA265.
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Accident occurred Monday, July 12, 2004 in Santa Clarita, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415-D, registration: N3837H
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 pilot made a precautionary landing in a field and the airplane collided with a rock. When he departed, the ambient temperature was about 80 degrees F. As he progressed northbound while climbing toward mountainous terrain, the temperatures exceeded 100 degrees F. When the airplane was about 2,500 feet msl, it would not climb and the engine temperature gauge was indicating 240 degrees F. The pilot attempted to return to a nearby airport; however, he could not attain the altitude needed to transition through a mountain pass to the airport. He made a precautionary landing in a field. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector performed a post accident test-run on the engine, and it operated normally. The density altitude at the accident site was calculated to be in excess of 5,300 feet.

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

the pilot's inadequate planning/decision by his inadequate evaluation of the weather resulting in an attempt to conduct flight beyond the aircraft's climb performance capability.

Full narrative available

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