NTSB Identification: SEA08CA010.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 14, 2007 in Bigfork, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2007
Aircraft: Welch RV-9, registration: N475TW
Injuries: 2 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 pilot reported that at the completion of a third flight for the day, he was returning to the airport for landing. The flight entered downwind when the engine sputtered, ran smoothly, then lost power. The pilot switched the fuel selector from the right tank to the left tank and attempted to restart the engine. The engine would not start and the pilot initially thought that he could make the end of the runway, however the aircraft lost altitude and the landing gear hit the edge of the road short of the runway and the aircraft slid through a barb wire fence and onto the runway. Both wings and the tail section were substantially damaged. After the accident, the pilot stated that he found the right fuel tank "extremely low" and the left fuel tank about a third full. The pilot continued to state that after changing to the left fuel tank, he believed that the fuel pump did not fill the header tank fast enough for an engine restart.

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

Fuel starvation while on downwind for landing. The pilot's inadequate in-flight fuel management planning was a factor.

Full narrative available

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