NTSB Identification: CEN09CA338
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 05, 2009 in Williamsburg, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: Garrett Rans S-6ES, registration: N213KT
Injuries: 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 amateur-built airplane departed on the cross-country flight with 12 gallons of fuel. The left and right wing tanks contained 5 and 7 gallons of fuel, respectively. The outbound flight leg was completed without any reported problems. The pilot did not refuel before departing on the return flight. On the return flight, about 8 miles from the destination airport, the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot was unable restart the engine and subsequently performed a forced landing into a forest clearing. The outboard half of the left wing was damaged during the landing when it impacted a tree. After the accident, the right fuel tank still contained 7 gallons of fuel. The left fuel tank was void of any usable fuel. Examination of the fuel tanks did not reveal any ruptures or breaches of any kind. The airplane was not equipped with a fuel tank selector. The output fuel lines for the right and left fuel tanks fed into a T-fitting which combined the fuel flow into a single line that serviced the engine. The output fuel lines from each tank were secured to airframe structural tubing with nylon cable-ties. The output fuel line from the right tank was pinched closed where one of the cable-ties was installed, restricting the fuel flow from the right tank. According to the pilot/builder, he finished installing wingtip navigation and strobe lights about 1.4 hours flight time before the accident. During the light installation, he routed and secured the associated electrical wiring in the same area as the fuel tank output lines. The pilot/builder stated that he may have tightened the fuel line cable-tie while he installed the navigation/strobe lights.

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

The pilot/builder's improper installation of the fuel line cable-tie, which resulted in fuel starvation and the loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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