NTSB Identification: CHI07LA106.
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Accident occurred Monday, April 16, 2007 in Gardner, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/28/2008
Aircraft: Browns Vans RV-7A, registration: N799WB
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. According to the pilot, the engine "suddenly lost power and started running rough" while in cruise flight at 6,500 feet mean sea level. The pilot set the propeller to low pitch and manipulated the engine throttle without any noticeable effect on engine operation. The engine continued to run "rough" after he switched fuel tanks. The pilot elected to perform an off-field landing on a "narrow gravel lane with rough surface and significant potholes." During the landing rollout the airplane departed off the left side of the road and nosed over in the adjacent ditch. During subsequent testing, the engine demonstrated normal operation throughout its entire rpm/horsepower range. Engine rpm was cycled rapidly between flight idle and maximum continuous rpm several times without any hesitation in engine operation. No anomalies were noted during the engine test run that would have prevented its normal operation. At departure, the airplane reportedly had 38 gallons of 100 low lead aviation fuel onboard. Examination of the wreckage confirmed there was sufficient fuel available for engine operation, and there was fuel found in the line from the fuselage to the mechanical fuel pump.

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

Engine failure during cruise flight for undetermined reasons. A factor was the rough/uneven terrain

Full narrative available

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