NTSB Identification: CHI07CA116.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 21, 2007 in Warrenton, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/27/2007
Aircraft: Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 20-A1, registration: N50ML
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 was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power during cruise flight. Examination of the airplane after the accident revealed no usable fuel remaining in the fuel tanks. A photograph of the fuel gauge that was taken after the accident showed the gauge indicating about 3/4 tank. During the subsequent examination, the fuel gauge showed about 1/4 tank. In a telephone conversation, the pilot stated that the airplane had been aloft for about 3 hours at the time the engine quit. He stated that he was familiar with this type airplane and knew that the airplane was capable of about 3 hours and 45 minutes of flight endurance. He stated that he was planning on stopping for fuel within the next 10 minutes of the accident time. He did not have a planned fuel stop and he was going to use his global positioning system receiver to select a suitable airport for fuel. The pilot selected a gravel road for the forced landing but landed short in a field. A fuel receipt indicated that the airplane had been fueled at the departure airport with 21.5 gallons of fuel at 0941 eastern daylight time on the day of the accident. The type certificate data sheet lists the airplane's fuel capacity as 20.9 gallons with 20.3 gallons usable fuel. The accident time was reported as 1515 central daylight time.

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

The pilot's inadequate pre-flight planning which resulted in exhaustion of the fuel supply and the unsuitable terrain encountered for the forced landing. A factor in the accident was inaccurate fuel quantity indication.

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