NTSB Identification: MIA01LA128.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 25, 2001 in Germantown, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2001
Aircraft: Steen Aero Lab Skybolt I, registration: N14DE
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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


According to the pilot, as a result of his preflight walk-around inspection, he felt confident that he had at least 12 gallons of fuel on board. Since his planned flight was for about 20 minutes, and knowing fuel burn is about 8.5 gallons an hour, he felt he had adequate fuel aboard. Actually, the fuel aboard was about 4 gallons, and 10 minutes into the flight, the engine quit while he was overhead a residential area of Germantown at 1500 feet msl. He reasoned that his only alternative was a forced landing to a residential street, and during the landing, the aircraft sequentially collided with an automobile rear window with the landing gear, a utility pole and mailbox with the wings, and a street sign with the horizontal stabilizer. Postcrash examination by FAA inspectors and the pilot revealed no evidence of fuel aboard.

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

The pilot's failure to conduct proper preflight planning and preparation, resulting in fuel exhaustion during cruise flight, and the subsequent emergency descent and forced landing to a residential street colliding with a vehicle, utility pole, mail box, and street sign.

Full narrative available

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