NTSB Identification: SEA07CA184.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 25, 2007 in La Pine, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2007
Aircraft: Diamond Aircraft Industries DA20-C1, registration: N363M
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 student pilot reported that he departed on a cross-country, solo, instructional flight. The pilot made touch and go landings at two different airports and then began his return to the departure airport. At the beginning of the return leg, the pilot checked his fuel gauges and noted that he believed he "would make it back [to the departure airport] with at least a quarter tank remaining." En route, the pilot checked his fuel gauges again, noted that they were indicating lower than he expected, and decided to divert to a closer airport. Approximately 25 miles from that airport, the pilot became convinced that he did not have enough fuel to reach the airfield. The pilot decided to make a precautionary landing before he ran out of fuel. The pilot selected a paved road with trees lining both sides as a landing site, and flew the airplane in a "descending right circle" to observe the area. The airplane touched down on the center of the road, but there was not enough lateral clearance, resulting in the left wing impacting trees that lined the south side of the road. The aircraft veered to the left, the nose gear collapsed, and the aircraft skidded to a stop on the road.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's selection of an unsuitable landing site for a precautionary landing. Contributing factors were the pilot's failure to refuel the airplane, the low fuel level, and trees. Full narrative available
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