NTSB Identification: FTW98LA396.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 11, 1998 in DUNDEE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Dempsey SKYBOLT TD8, registration: N350TD
Injuries: 2 Serious.

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 a cross-country flight, about 1 hour 20 minutes after takeoff, the airplane's engine lost power. The pilot reported that 'an attempt to flare for landing resulted in loss of airspeed rather quickly and the aircraft dropped from a near stall condition hitting the ground flat and hard.' Examination of the fuel system revealed no usable fuel in the fuel tank. Examination of the accident site revealed no evidence of fuel spillage. The pilot rated passenger had just purchased the homebuilt Skybolt TD8 experimental airplane, and it was being flown to Ohio. The airplane's fuel tank was topped off prior to departure. The planned time en route was 1 hour 30 minutes. The builder of the airplane reported that the capacity of the airplane's fuel tank was 29 gallons; however, the airplane's fuel tank capacity was measured at 22 gallons. According to the builder, the average fuel consumption for this airplane is 20 gallons per hour. The commercial pilot reported to the NTSB that this accident could have been prevented by a 'more thorough examination and verification of all phases of aircraft. Actual fuel capacity - consumption - etc. Don't make assumptions of the other persons work.'

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

Hard landing due to the pilot's improper landing flare. Factor were the fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's failure to refuel, and his lack of familiarity with the airplane.

Full narrative available

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