FTW98LA039
FTW98LA039

On November 2, 1997, at 1630 central standard time, a Cessna 175, N9437B, struck the terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Arnaudville, Louisiana. The airplane was owned and operated by a private individual under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The private pilot and 3 passengers were not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that departed from Homer, Louisiana, at 1515. A flight plan was not filed.

During a personal interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, and on the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2), the pilot reported that the flight departed an airstrip at Homer, Louisiana, and had been airborne for 1 hour 15 minutes en route to Breaux Bridge at 1,200 feet MSL when the "engine quit." The pilot performed the emergency checklist procedures; however, the engine did not restart. The pilot commenced the forced landing procedures for landing in a plowed field. During the landing roll, the airplane hit a drainage ditch, collapsing the nose gear. Subsequently, the airplane nosed over and came to rest inverted. Prior to the original departure from Beaux Bridge, the pilot fueled the airplane with 43 gallons of fuel and performed a preflight inspection. The fuel selector remained in the "BOTH" position during the flight.

The FAA inspector examining the airplane found structural damage on the left wing. Approximately 6 gallons of fuel was found in the fuel tanks. The inspector noted a crack in the "fuel line between the fuel strainer (mounted on the firewall) and the engine fuel pump. It is suspected that air was suctioned in to the fuel system through the cracked line, resulting in fuel starvation to the engine." The reason for the crack in the line was not determined.

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