NTSB Identification: MIA04LA126.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 03, 2004 in Greenville, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Maule MX-7-235, registration: N660HB
Injuries: 2 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 stated that the purpose of the flight was to reposition the airplane due to Hurricane Francis. He visually checked the fuel tanks before the flight departed and noted the level in both was within 3 inches from the top. The flight departed, and initially climbed to 1,000 feet mean sea level (msl), then later climbed to 1,500 feet msl. When the flight was near Monticello, Florida, the engine sputtered and he maneuvered the airplane towards a nearby lake. He turned base and final for landing on the lake and with 40 degrees of flaps selected, the airplane cleared tall trees near the lake. After clearing the trees he pushed the yoke forward to descend, which caused the airplane to accelerate. He landed on the water but ran out of room and the left wing collided with a submerged cypress tree. He later stated the loss of engine power was due to fuel exhaustion. According to a mechanic who helped recover the airplane, both fuel tanks were drained and a total of approximately 1.5 gallons of fuel were recovered. The mechanic further reported that the total unusable fuel capacity for each fuel tank is 1.5 gallons.

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

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision which resulted in fuel exhaustion. The pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation to ensure an adequate fuel supply is a contributing factor.

Full narrative available

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