NTSB Identification: LAX97LA115.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 08, 1997 in MARINA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/14/1997
Aircraft: Ryan NAVION, registration: N4969K
Injuries: 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 took off and the airplane gained about 800 feet when suddenly all engine power was lost. The pilot attempted to return to the runway, but collided with the airport's boundary fence short of the field. According to the pilot, six new cylinders had been recently installed in the engine, and the purpose of the flight was to complete the break-in process. The pilot reported that he believed 8 to 10 gallons of fuel should have been in the main fuel tank at takeoff, but evidently the fuel burn-off rate was greater than he had previously calculated. The FAA coordinator reported that he examined the airplane and drained all the fuel which remained in the tanks. A maximum of 0.5 gallon of fuel was found in each wing tip fuel tank. Also, about 3.0 gallons of fuel were found in the rear seat auxiliary tank, and 1.5 gallons were found in the main tank. The estimated unusable fuel quantity in the main tank is 3.0 gallons. The pilot indicated when engine power was lost the fuel tank selector was positioned to the main fuel tank.

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

Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's improper preflight inspection and his inaccurate fuel consumption calculations.

Full narrative available

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