DEN00LA159
DEN00LA159

On August 30, 2000, at 1600 mountain daylight time, an Aeronca 7BCM, N66581, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing approximately 1/4 mile short of runway 20 at Santa Fe Municipal Airport, Santa Fe, New Mexico. The private pilot and sole occupant was not injured. The flight was a cross-country flight operating under Title 14 CFR Part 91 and no flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight departed Dumas, Texas, at 1200.

According to the FAA inspector who responded to the accident, the flight was on final approach to land on runway 20 when the pilot applied carburetor heat about 1/4 mile from the runway and attempted to apply power. The engine did not respond and the aircraft sank below the runway height (runway 20 is on top of a hill). The pilot attempted to land on a dirt road that ran perpendicular to the runway, but ended up landing in a soft dirt field.

According to the pilot, when the aircraft touched down in the soft terrain, the main landing gear was sheared off and the chrome-moly tube frame was twisted. In addition, the wing attach points on the fuselage were twisting the wings forward and down. Additionally, the windscreen was cracked and one propeller blade suffered tip damage.

Examination of the engine by a mechanic provided evidence that the carburetor needle valve had stuck in the closed position. The reason for the valve sticking could not be determined.

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