NTSB Identification: MIA00LA253.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 27, 2000 in CHATOM, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/28/2001
Aircraft: Aero Commander 100, registration: N2982T
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that he had visually inspected the fuel tanks, and had 1 hour and 30 minutes of fuel remaining. In one statement the pilot said he had 15 gallons of fuel on board, and in another statement, he said that that he had 17 gallons of fuel on board. The pilot said that he and two passengers had departed at 09:30 AM, on a low level sight seeing flight, and at 10:25 AM the aircraft's engine started to operate at reduced power. He said the engine did not completely cease operating, but did not generate enough power to stay airborne. He said he tried to reach a field to make an emergency landing, but did not have enough altitude to reach it, so he selected a road, but clipped the power line with the left main gear, and hit two trees with each wing, during the forced landing. According to the FAA inspector, one of the passengers, who is also an FAA licensed mechanic assisted him in the postaccident examination, and they found a small amount of fuel, and a half teaspoonful of dirt in the damaged gascolator. The inspector also said that they found a small amount of fuel in the carburetor when it was examined. The inspector said that aircraft documentation revealed that the aircraft had a fuel capacity of 44 gallons, of which 4 is unusable. The mechanic/passenger said that based on what he experienced during the flight, as well during the postaccident examination of the aircraft, he believes that they ran out of fuel, and that during the examination they found a maximum of 4 to 5 gallons of fuel on the aircraft.

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

the pilot's improper preflight planning/decision and failure to ensure an adequate supply of fuel to safely complete the flight to his destination with adequate fuel reserves, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, subsequent engine failure, and a forced landing during, which the aircraft incurred substantial damage.

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