NTSB Identification: DFW06CA212.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 23, 2006 in Springtown, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/28/2006
Aircraft: Vans Aircraft RV4, registration: N7LC
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The 14,498-hour private pilot experienced a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff from the 2,400-foot long, by 20-foot wide airstrip. The pilot elected to make a 180-degree turn back to the airstrip; however, the single-engine homebuilt airplane landed short of the runway. The pilot reported that he conducted a preflight prior to his departure and reported having 8 gallons of fuel aboard the airplane for the local flight to his intended destination. The pilot added that while climbing out on runway heading "the engine quit and he was unable to restart it after switching fuel tanks." At the time of the attempted restart the airplane was about 3/4 of a mile from the departure end of the airport at approximately 400 feet above the ground. The pilot further stated that after determining that there was no suitable forced landing areas ahead of the flight path, he elected to turn back toward the airport. The airplane was unable to reach the departure end of runway 34. During the forced landing, the airplane collided with a pipe fence and came to rest in the upright position approximately 40 feet inside of the airport property. The reason for the reported loss of engine power could not be determined. The weather at the airport was reported as 10 miles visibility with winds from 180 degrees at 12 knots. The airplane sustained structural damage.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. A contributing factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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