NTSB Identification: MIA97LA234.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 16, 1997 in SILER CITY, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/02/1998
Aircraft: Ercoupe (Eng & Research Corp.) 415-C, registration: N2237H
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 did not obtain a preflight weather briefing before departure then shortly after takeoff, his passenger noted fuel coming from the right wing fuel tank cap. The flight continued then 20-30 minutes later, the right wing fuel tank sight gauge indicated 1/4 capacity. He elected to divert to the Asheboro airport to determine the fuel problem but due to his wind overcorrection, he was unable to locate the airport. He then elected to fly to the Siler City airport and after recognizing a nearby highway, he elected to descend to read a highway sign. The airplane collided with an unmarked span guy wire that ranges in height to 28-36 feet above ground level. The airplane then collided with and remained suspended in trees.

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

Failure of the pilot to obtain a preflight weather briefing, inaccurate weather evaluation by the pilot, and his poor in-flight planning decision for descending too low to read a road sign.

Full narrative available

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