NTSB Identification: IAD99LA002
Accident occurred Saturday, October 03, 1998 in JAFFREY, NH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Navion A, registration: N4285K
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 conducted a preflight of the Navion A airplane confirming 20 gallons of fuel each in the left and right main tanks, but did not check the 20 gallon auxiliary tank. He then departed Mansfield, Massachusetts, flew a minimum of 69 statute miles and landed at Jaffrey, New Hampshire, subsequently departing without taking on fuel and flying for approximately two additional hours. He landed at Jaffrey again, and without shutting the airplane down, departed back to Mansfield. Shortly after departing Jaffrey and leveling off at 3,000 feet, the airplane's engine lost power. Unable to return to his departure field, and deeming his intended landing site as unsuitable, he executed a forced landing into tree tops. A post-crash examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed no fuel in the airplane's fuel tanks, and no evidence of fuel leakage. The pilot stated that 'Due to the power setting I chose to run the airplane at, the length of the flight, and my negligence to visually check and only operate the airplane based on the fuel gauge readings, I believe that it was my mistake in exhausting the fuel.'

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

The pilot's inadequate aircraft preflight and subsequent failure to refuel the aircraft resulting in fuel exhaustion. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain to execute a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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