NTSB Identification: LAX02LA072.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, January 30, 2002 in San Diego, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/23/2002
Aircraft: Hillyer XL-RG Velocity, registration: C-FPDL
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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 of the amateur built, experimental airplane, contacted the military tower and said: "... tower this is Canadian papa delta lima with an emergency we've uh run out of fuel." The tower controller gave the pilot the altimeter setting and surface wind and clearance to land on the runway nearest the pilot's position. There was a subsequent conversation between the tower and the pilot a few seconds later regarding the arresting gear in place on the runway during which the pilot said: "we're just hoping we make the runway." The tower controller approved landing on the taxiway. The airplane subsequently impacted an embankment about 200 feet short of the runway threshold in an open, grassy area. An FAA inspector responded to the scene and reported finding only a small amount of fuel (less than 1 quart) in the aircraft. The fuel tanks were not breached. The builder of the airplane said it was equipped with a fuel totalizer system that used capacitance type fuel quantity sensors and had been carefully calibrated and was quite accurate. Prior to the accident flight, the builder said that he observed the pilot use a plain, uncalibrated stick of wood to measure the fuel quantity during his preflight inspection of the aircraft. No fuel was added. He thought it odd that the pilot used the same, moistened, end of the same stick to measure the quantity in the second tank. The pilot commented they wouldn't be out very long, maybe 1 hour.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight planning and decision making, which resulted in exhaustion of the airplane's fuel supply and loss of engine power.

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