NTSB Identification: SEA96LA117.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 08, 1996 in EVERETT, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/23/1997
Aircraft: Head PITTS S-1C, registration: N7BH
Injuries: 1 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 an approach to land, the engine lost power on base leg. Subsequently, the pilot landed short of the airport runway, and the aircraft struck trees. The pilot reported that he took off with 22 to 24 gallons of fuel and flew for 30 minutes before the accident at an estimated 5.5 to 6.5 gallon per hour burn rate; a fuel slip indicated the aircraft received 6.3 gallons of fuel before the flight. FAA investigators found 2 to 2 1/2 inches of fuel in the bottom of the main tank forward compartment and no fuel in the main tank rear compartment. Also, they found no mechanical problems with the engine. Fire department personnel switched the aircraft's fuel selector valve from 'MR' (main rear) to 'OFF' at the accident scene. The experimental aircraft was not equipped with fuel gauges. No evidence of a current biennial flight review, aircraft condition inspection, or medical certificate was found.

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

the pilot's inadequate fuel management, which resulted in fuel starvation. The aircraft's lack of a fuel quantity gauge and trees in the forced landing area were related factors.

Full narrative available

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