NTSB Identification: WPR09CA181
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 05, 2009 in Riddle, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: Max A Boesiger Jr Pulsar, registration: N610RJ
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 pilot made a 1 hour 20 minute flight to a private strip in the morning, and expected to be working there for a few hours. His work ended up lasting all day, and he did not depart until sundown. He stated that he was very tired and anxious to get home. His panel-mounted global positioning satellite system (GPS) was not internally lit, and after getting airborne he discovered that a flashlight that he kept in the airplane for this purpose did not work. Rather than return to the departure airport for another light, he decided to travel north until he intersected Interstate 84, where he could turn west and follow it home. He saw an intersection approaching, turned west, and gave no further thought to navigation. He was 5,000 feet above ground level (agl) and stated that he could not be sure that this was the proper highway to follow. He noted that he was so tired that he forgot that he had a handheld GPS in his backpack that was internally lit. He noticed that the highway turned south, so he continued west thinking that he would pick it up again when it turned back to the north. About 30 minutes later, the pilot realized that he had been following the wrong road. He became very disoriented and turned north attempting to locate a town that he could recognize. He then used his cell phone to light up the face of the panel-mounted GPS, discovered that he was 150 miles from Boise, Idaho, and turned toward it. About 10 minutes later, he realized that he did not have enough fuel to make it to Boise or even the next closest airport. He continued on toward Boise hoping that he would find a road or clear place to land. At an altitude of 4,000 feet agl, the engine lost power. He saw no traffic on any road to help find a landing spot. He was in an extremely remote area and only saw three lights on the ground that were about 1/2-mile apart. He landed on rough terrain near a house, and all three landing gear sheared off at touchdown.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's becoming lost and disoriented. Contributing to the accident was fatigue, as reported by the pilot.

Full narrative available

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