On December 2, 1993, at 1615 Pacific standard time, a North American SNJ-5, N89014, operated by the pilot, experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise flight at 3,800 feet mean sea level. The pilot made a forced landing in a dry river bed about 2 miles east of Santa Paula, California. During rollout, the airplane collided with vegetation and was substantially damaged. Neither the certificated airline transport pilot nor passenger was injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local area personal flight. The flight originated from Camarillo, California, on December 2, 1993, at 1545.

The pilot verbally reported to the National Transportation Safety Board that during the flight all systems appeared to operate normally, and the fuel and oil pressures were within normal operating limits. Suddenly, he detected a "very strong smell of aviation gasoline and the engine stopped running." The pilot stated that he attempted to restart the engine, but was not successful. The pilot further reported that he did not have sufficient altitude to glide to any airport, so he made an emergency landing in a nearby river bed.

At the Safety Board's request, the airplane's carburetor was examined, and a written report was received from a Federal Aviation Administration certificated A & P mechanic. The mechanic indicated that the engine stoppage had resulted from it having been flooded with excessive fuel. The cause of the flooding related to the improper functioning of the carburetor's needle valve pin (see attached report for additional details).

The carburetor was identified by the pilot as follows: Stromburg, model NAY 9E1; serial No. 5638362.

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