CHI04LA082
CHI04LA082

On February 28, 2004, at 1630 central standard time, an Alon A2 Ercoupe, N825DC, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing on a gravel road about 5 miles northwest of Hawley, Minnesota. The pilot reported the engine was running rough and didn't believe he would make it to the airport. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was not operating on a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight originated from Hector International Airport, Fargo, North Dakota, at 1600 and was en route to Hawley Municipal Airport, Hawley, Minnesota.

The pilot stated that he was circling a farm field about 5 miles northwest of Hawley, Minnesota. He applied full power to climb after circling the field and the engine "began to sputter and run very rough." The pilot stated that he could not maintain altitude and decided to land on a road running north/south beneath him. He landed on the gravel road and his left main tire went off into a ditch after he maneuvered to avoid hitting a mailbox. He applied full right rudder to realign himself on the road. The airplane would not realign on the road, and the left wing struck a fence post. The airplane spun around counter-clockwise and into a ditch. The right wing impacted a second fence post and the airplane came to rest in the ditch.

The power loss could not be duplicated upon examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector.

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