NTSB Identification: WPR11CA329
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 14, 2011 in Albany, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/06/2011
Aircraft: BELLANCA 7KCAB, registration: N16TP
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 that after flying for approximately 1.7 hours, the airplane's engine started to run rough. He contacted the nearest air traffic control tower and reported the problem while trying to turn back to an airport he had just passed. After making a 180-degree turn, the airplane's engine lost power and the pilot, who was unsure he could make it back to the airport without unduly endangering people on the ground, opted to land in an empty field. The landing was uneventful; however, during the landing roll the airplane encountered a divot in the ground and nosed over. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the fuel filler cap on the right wing was missing and there were several blue stain streaks aft of the filler port to the trailing edge of the wing. The fuel filler cap was located in the run up area where the pilot had last refilled the airplane's fuel tank. Further examination of the fuel system found it to be intact with just 3 tablespoons of fuel in the fuel sump and no fuel in the main fuel lines to the fuel injector.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and failure to ensure the fuel cap was secured after refueling, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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