NTSB Identification: CHI04CA138.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 05, 2004 in Beloit, WI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Merkel Acro Sport II, registration: N796DM
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane collided with a power line and the terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. The pilot stated the fuel quantity gauge in the airplane was inoperative and he uses a dip stick to check the fuel quantity. He stated he had 13 gallons of fuel on board when he departed from his private airstrip. The pilot flew approximately 65 minutes with two takeoffs and landings prior to the accident. The pilot estimated he had 7 gallons of fuel on board when he made his last takeoff. He stated the airplane usually burns 6 gallons per hour for normal flight and 7.5 gallons per hour when he is performing aerobatics. The airplane holds a total of 24 gallons of fuel of which 22 gallons are usable. Post accident inspection of the airplane revealed there were two gallons of fuel on board the airplane.

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

Inaccurate fuel consumption calculations which resulted in fuel exhaustion. Factors associated with the accident were the pilot's continued flight with an inoperable fuel quantity indicator and the wires which the airplane contacted during the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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