On December 29, 1994, at 1456 central standard time, a North American F-51D airplane, N51TK, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing near Round Lake, Illinois. The solo airline transport rated pilot sustained minor injuries. The personal flight originated in Wheeling, Illinois, at 1445 and was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. A flight plan was not filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed.

During a telephone interview on January 9, 1995, the pilot reported he was climbing through 2,500 feet when "the engine stopped abruptly." He was using fuel from the left tank and immediately switched the fuel selector to the right tank feed position. He placed the mixture in the emergency rich position and checked that the boost pump and magneto switches were on. The engine did not regain power and he conducted an emergency landing in a forest preserve. He said the engine had undergone recent carburetor work and he believed this had resulted in the loss of engine power.

Mr. Tim McCarter of Amphib, Inc., reported, during a telephone interview, on January 9, 1995, that the airplane departed Kenosha, Wisconsin about 1305 with about 90 gallons of usable fuel. He said the airplane would burn about 86 gallons per hour during climb and 50 gallons per hour at a low power cruise.

A controller at the Palwaukee Airport Air Traffic Control Tower in Wheeling, Illinois, reported that N51TK landed there at 1411 and departed at 1445.

Federal Aviation Administration Inspectors who examined the wreckage reported no evidence of preimpact malfunction. The propeller, right wing, and left horizontal stabilizer were sheared from the airplane. The left wing and nose had tears in the skins and compression damage. The left fuel tank and fuel lines were intact and contained no usable fuel. The engine performed normally when it was operated on a test stand.

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