NTSB Identification: ERA09LA368
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 25, 2009 in Woodbine, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/22/2010
Aircraft: PITTS AEROBATICS S-2B, registration: N300FA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Prior to departure, the pilot added a total of 20 gallons of fuel to the upper wing auxiliary and lower (main) tanks of the Pitts S-2B bi-plane, filling the tanks to their 28 gallon capacity. About halfway to the destination airport, after flying for about an hour, the pilot transferred fuel from the upper (auxiliary) to the lower (main) fuel tank. As the airplane approached the airport which the pilot planned to stop for fuel, the pilot determined a fuel stop was not necessary as his GPS predicted an arrival time at his destination equating to 2 hours of flight time. When the airplane was about 20 miles from its destination, the engine "quit abruptly" and the pilot performed a forced landing to a field. Examination of the airplane revealed the upper wing fuel tank contained approximately 3-5 gallons of fuel, and no fuel was observed in the main fuel tank. The fuel lines from the fuel servo contained only "residual fuel." The fuel selector was observed in the "ON" position. The fuel transfer valve, which transferred fuel from the upper wing fuel tank to the lower wing (main) fuel tank, was in the "CLOSED" position. The pilot believed the airplane's engine consumed about 11.5 gallons per hour; however, the manufacturer reported the airplane's engine consumed between 12 and 14 gallons per hour.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's improper fuel transfer in flight.

Full narrative available

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