NTSB Identification: CEN14LA526
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, September 29, 2014 in Hobart, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/01/2015
Aircraft: PREISS VANS RV-9A, registration: N259H
Injuries: 1 Serious, 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot reported that, during his preflight calculations, he estimated that sufficient fuel was onboard the airplane to fly it to his intended destination with a 30-minute reserve. About 10 minutes from the destination airport, the fuel in the left tank was depleted, so the pilot switched to the right tank; the fuel monitor indicated that 5 gallons of fuel were remaining in the right tank. The pilot reported that, with an estimated fuel consumption rate of 6 gallons per hour, he was confident that he would reach the destination airport with fuel to spare. About 5 minutes from the airport, the fuel monitor indicated that 3 gallons of fuel were remaining in the right tank. Shortly thereafter and 2 miles east of the destination, the engine lost power. The pilot made a forced landing in a field and allowed the airplane to land hard to avoid an incipient stall. After the accident, the pilot reported that the airplane had run out of fuel. Examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel tanks were empty.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
•A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, which resulted from the pilot's erroneous preflight fuel calculations and inadequate in-flight fuel management.
On September 29, 2014, at 1510 central daylight time, an experimental-homebuilt Preiss Vans RV-9A, N259H, was substantially damaged during a forced landing after the engine lost power 2 miles east of Hobart Regional Airport (HBR), Hobart, Oklahoma. The pilot was not injured but his passenger was seriously injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by Mexico Medical Missions, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident, and no flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Grove Municipal Airport (GMJ), Grove, Oklahoma, about 1315, and was en route to HBR.
According to the pilot's accident report and what he told a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, he estimated in his preflight calculations that he had sufficient fuel to fly from Grove to HBR with a 30 minute reserve. He stated that he switched tanks every 30 minutes. Approaching his destination, the Global Positioning System (GPS) indicated the estimated time of arrival (ETA) to be 10 minutes, and the fuel monitor indicated 39 minutes remaining. This corresponded to the pilot's preflight calculations. After depleting the fuel in the left tank, the pilot switched to the right tank, which indicated 5 gallons remaining. With a fuel consumption rate of 6 gallons per hour, the pilot stated he was confident he would arrive with fuel to spare. At an ETA of 5 minutes, the fuel monitor indicated 3 gallons of fuel remaining in the right tank. Shortly thereafter and two miles east of HBR, the engine lost power. The pilot made a forced landing in a field. To avoid an incipient stall, the pilot allowed the airplane to land hard. Post-accident inspection revealed the nose landing gear was crushed, the main landing gear was bent, and the fuselage was buckled.
The pilot later told the FAA inspector that he had run out of fuel. Examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed no fuel in the fuel tanks.