NTSB Identification: CHI95LA330.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 23, 1995 in MEXICO, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/11/1996
Aircraft: HARD MAXAIR DRIFTER, registration: N4255Q
Injuries: 2 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 HE BASED HIS FUEL CALCULATIONS ON THE TYPICAL FUEL BURN OF 4.5 GALLONS PER HOUR. ON THE FIRST LEG OF THE FLIGHT, HIS CALCULATIONS WERE ACCURATE. HE REPORTED THAT ON THE SECOND LEG OF FLIGHT, THE ENGINE QUIT RUNNING AS A RESULT OF FUEL EXHAUSTION, LESS THAN A MILE FROM HIS DESTINATION. SUBSEQUENTLY, THE AIRPLANE WAS DAMAGED DURING AN OFF-AIRPORT LANDING. THE ENGINE WAS TESTED FOR FUEL CONSUMPTION, AND IN ONE TEST, IT HAD AN ABNORMALLY HIGH FUEL RATE OF 6.51 GALLONS PER HOUR. THE TEST ALSO REVEALED FUEL LEAKING AT THE PTO CARBURETOR FLOAT BOWL VENT. AFTER CLEANING AND INSPECTING THE NEEDLE AND SEAT, NO FURTHER ABNORMAL FUEL CONSUMPTION WAS NOTED. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE HAD NOT TESTED OR CALIBRATED HIS FUEL INDICATOR AND DID NOT KNOW HOW MUCH FUEL REMAINED IN THE TANK BY VISUALLY CHECKING THE FUEL INDICATOR. HE HAD DECIDED AGAINST REFUELING EN ROUTE BASED ON HIS AVERAGE FUEL BURN CALCULATIONS.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

fuel exhaustion as a result of excessive fuel flow, and failure of the pilot not properly monitoring fuel consumption. Rough/uneven terrain in the emergency landing area was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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