NTSB Identification: FTW96LA257.
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Accident occurred Sunday, June 16, 1996 in MINDEN, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/1996
Aircraft: Owens/Smyth SIDEWINDER, registration: N177TJ
Injuries: 2 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During flight, at about 2,500 feet, the engine lost power. A forced landing was made to a field with small saplings and bushes, and the airplane came to rest in an inverted position. The pilot reported that he departed Memphis with 17 gallons of fuel on board. The FAA inspector on the scene of the accident reported that he drained 3 tablespoons of fuel from the fuel tank. The pilot reported as a safety recommendation, 'When calibrating fuel capacity and markings for [the] fuel gauge, fuel should have been drained to see how the fuel gauge indicated as fuel was being used.'

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

The pilot's improper fuel consumption calculations resulting in fuel exhaustion. A factor was the unsuitable terrain for the forced landing.

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