NTSB Identification: IAD98LA073.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 26, 1998 in OCEANA, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/28/2000
Aircraft: Saab-Scania AB (Saab) F-35 DRAKEN, registration: N156XD
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 was conducting the second of two support flights for a U.S. Navy ship. On each flight, he made three passes. Following the last pass of the second flight, the pilot made a 5g pull-up. Once 'on top', he noted that the airplane's fuel quantity was rapidly going down. The pilot declared an emergency, and climbed the airplane to 35,000 feet, where the engine flamed out. He established a 300-knot glide, and was vectored to a naval air station. He stated that the airplane either reached, or was above three 'key' positions, and on airspeed. However, after the third key, he realized the airplane would not reach a runway, so he successfully ejected less than 50 feet above the ground. The airplane impacted a plowed field, and remained upright until it skidded to a stop. There was no post-impact fire, and there was no evidence of fuel leakage, nor of the failure of any airframe component. The second flight was about 15 minutes longer than the first. With the airplane's capacitance fuel indicating system; high speed flight fuel quantity indications could be inaccurate. The 2,700-hour pilot had 43 hours of flight time in make and model.

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

The pilot-in-command's inadequate fuel management which led to fuel exhaustion and subsequent loss of engine power. A related factor was the pilot's unfamiliarity with the fuel system.

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