NTSB Identification: NYC07FA025.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 11, 2006 in Basye, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Czech Aircraft Works CH 601 XL RTF, registration: N601VA
Injuries: 1 Fatal.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
After 30 minutes of flying in the local area, the special light sport airplane was seen maneuvering about 1 mile northeast of the airport when the engine "surged," then became silent. Moments later, the airplane impacted trees in a wooded residential area. Examination of the wreckage revealed there was virtually no fuel in the fuel tanks or fuel system at impact. No preimpact malfunctions were noted with the airplane, and there was no evidence of rotation on the propeller. No fueling facilities were available where the airplane was based, and fueling documentation provided by the operator revealed the airplane flew seven times, for a total of 6.3 hours since its last refueling. The total fuel capacity for the airplane was 30 gallons, and engine fuel consumption ranged from a high of 7.1 gallons per hour at "takeoff performance" to less than 4.0 gallons per hour at "Max Cruising." The airplane flight manual (AFM) advised to "visually confirm fuel level" as part of the preflight inspection and to "Check fuel quantity" prior to takeoff. According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records, the pilot at one time had been seeing a psychiatrist for the treatment of anxiety and depression and was taking citalopram and bupropion (prescription anti-depressant medications); however, three years prior to the accident, his psychiatrist reported to the FAA that he was no longer on the medication. The FAA then issued him a medical certificate, and advised him that he needed to abide by the rules that related to his physical deficiency. The pilot was prohibited by the FAA from operating an aircraft if new symptoms or adverse changes occurred, or if he experienced any side effects from, or required a change in medication. A review of the pilot's most recent application for a medical certificate 17 months prior to the accident, noted that the pilot did not mention the use of any anti-depressants. The application also indicated "No" to all other conditions under "Medical History," including specifically "Mental disorders of any sort; depression, anxiety, etc." The toxicology report noted that citalopram, N-desmethylcitalopram, and di-N-desmethylcitalopram (the metabolites of citalopram) were detected in the pilot's blood at levels approximately 10 times higher than those expected from the dosage previously prescribed for the pilot.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate preflight inspection, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. Full narrative available
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