NTSB Identification: CHI08CA208.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 23, 2008 in West Jefferson, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Ercoupe 415-G, registration: N94413
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 impacted trees and terrain during takeoff about 500 feet from the departure end of a private grass airstrip during a personal flight that was en route to obtain fuel at the destination airport. The airplane wings were crushed rearward along the leading edge, the empennage was separated from the airframe, and the firewall was wrinkled. The airplane was not equipped with shoulder harnesses. The pilot sustained serious injuries that included a broken right arm and left leg and the passenger sustained serious facial and ankle injuries. Examination of the airplane revealed there was no usable fuel in either wing tank and header tank. Also, there was no residual fuel in the header tank to engine fuel lines. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airplane's center of gravity, with no usable fuel aboard, was aft of its limit. The pilot's fight review and medical certificate were expired at the time of the accident.

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

The improper preflight planning/preparation by the pilot and the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion during takeoff. Contributing factors were the pilot’s expired flight review and airman medical, the aircraft weight and balance exceeded by the pilot, and the trees.

Full narrative available

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