NTSB Identification: CHI08CA165.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 14, 2008 in Newton Falls, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2008
Aircraft: Fetherolf CH-701, registration: N813DJ
Injuries: 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 pilot reported he had been flying for approximately 15 minutes when he decided to land. The airplane was on downwind for the runway, abeam the threshold, when the engine "sputtered then quit." The pilot switched fuel tanks, and turned on the electric fuel boost pump; however, he was unsuccessful in restoring engine power. At that point, the airplane was outside of gliding distance to the runway, and the pilot made a forced landing to a wooded area short of the runway. A postaccident inspection revealed that the left fuel tank vent was obstructed. The obstruction appeared to be sealant used in the assembly of the tank. The pilot noted that the vent design will be changed to reduce the possibility of a blockage, and the preflight checklist will be revised to specifically verify that the vents are clear prior to flight.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The loss of engine power during the landing approach due to fuel starvation resulting from an obstructed fuel tank vent. Factors contributing to the accident were the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing, and the airplane's low altitude at the time of the power loss. Full narrative available
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