NTSB Identification: WPR09LA452
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 16, 2009 in Santa Paula, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2010
Aircraft: CESSNA 140, registration: N326DW
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 pilot performed a preflight inspection, which included a visual confirmation of the fuel in each tank. Using a fuel quantity stick that the pilot had calibrated, she estimated that both the left and right wing fuel tanks contained about 6 gallons of fuel. She performed two uneventful touch-and-go landings, followed by a full-stop landing. While turning the airplane into the left crosswind after the fourth takeoff, the engine lost all power. The pilot force-landed the airplane in an adjacent dry riverbed, where it sustained substantial damage to the firewall, fuselage, and tail. Postaccident examination revealed a residual quantity of fuel in the left fuel tank; however, damage to the airplane and its subsequent inverted attitude could have caused fuel to drain from this tank prior to inspection. Additionally, fuel was observed in the fuel line leading to the carburetor. The pilot reported the total duration of the flight to be 0.2 hours. Data was not available to confirm the airplane's fuel consumption during takeoff and climb phases. Further examination of the engine and airframe did not reveal obvious anomalies that would have explained the loss of engine power.

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

A total loss of engine power during takeoff for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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