NTSB Identification: LAX07CA135.
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Accident occurred Thursday, April 26, 2007 in Watsonville, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 150L, registration: N1557Q
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.

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 airplane nosed over in a wheat field following a loss of engine power during takeoff. The certified flight instructor (CFI) estimated that 10 to 15 minutes elapsed between completion of the run-up and takeoff checklist before traffic cleared so that he and the student could take off. The takeoff was normal, and they started their climb to the practice area. About 200 to 300 feet agl, the engine started to lose power; it didn't just lose power. He took control. He applied carburetor heat, and pumped the throttle a few times as he had done in the past to keep an engine running. However, the engine didn't respond. The airplane was over the end of the runway. He felt that they were too low to turn around, and wanted to get the airplane down before they flew past the clear area before a freeway. He aimed for a wheat field that he thought would cushion the landing. He estimated that about 40 seconds elapsed from the loss of power to touchdown. The wheat in the field was 4-feet tall, and a lot thicker than the CFI expected. It stopped the airplane on touchdown, causing a nose over. He saw fire in the engine compartment. He instructed the student to be careful unstrapping since they were inverted, but to hurry. They both exited out the right side door, and cleared the airplane. The FAA coordinator examined the airplane and engine and no abnormalities were found to preclude normal operation.

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

a partial loss of engine power for undertermined reasons during takeoff.

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