On October 12, 2000, about 1645 hours Pacific daylight time, a Tolle Venture Model 20 (homebuilt) airplane, N353, owned and operated by the pilot, experienced a loss of engine power seconds after takeoff from a road near Madera, California. The pilot made a forced landing on another rural road and collided with a pole during rollout. The airplane was substantially damaged, and the private pilot received a minor injury. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed during the personal flight, and no flight plan was filed. The flight was performed under 14 CFR Part 91.

A responding sheriff's officer reported that the pilot had previously made a precautionary landing on Avenue 9 because of engine problems. The pilot believed that he had fixed the problem, and he took off. Seconds later, the engine again lost power. The officer additionally stated that the pilot landed on Avenue 10 and impacted the pole.

The pilot subsequently reported that there was adequate fuel for flight on board his airplane. The left and right wing tanks contained 10 and 8 gallons of fuel, respectively. According to the pilot's report, adequate fuel for flight was prevented from reaching the engine due to a check valve in the fuel sump tank that was found stuck in a mostly closed position.

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