July 23, Winnemucca, Nev. / Smith Miniplane


At 2045 Pacific time, an amateur-built Smith Miniplane lost engine power during cruise and crashed 14 miles north-northeast of Winnemucca. The pilot was not injured. The pilot reported he was en route to Oshkosh, Wisc., when he got lost and was running low on fuel. He landed on a road, taxied to a local gas station and filled the airplanes tanks. On takeoff, he struck a sign. An NTSB investigator said the pilot told her he would fix the dent, but she said she could not give him permission to fly the airplane. The pilot later stated to an FAA investigator that he then removed the damaged wing tip, applied duct tape to the tip and took off. He again became lost and the engine quit again. He said he pushed the nose over to gain airspeed and was pitched 45 degrees nose down when he saw the ground coming up at him. At the last minute he pitched up and crashed. A responding deputy said surface winds at the time were 30-40 mph with poor visibility and rain.


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