NTSB Identification: ERA10CA093
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, December 08, 2009 in Birmingham, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/23/2010
Aircraft: ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL 114, registration: N5872N
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 stated that he was conducting an instrument-flight-rules flight with an estimated flight time of 1 hour and 33 minutes. He encountered unanticipated headwinds along the route of flight, and as he neared his destination airport he learned that weather conditions had deteriorated below minimums. The pilot diverted to a nearby airport, but was unable to complete the approach due to a windshear encounter. He then diverted to a third airport and reported that he was concerned about the airplane's available fuel. The pilot again aborted his first approach due to a windshear encounter and during a subsequent approach the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field prior to the runway. The airplane's nose and left main landing gears collapsed upon contact with a ditch, which resulted in substantial damage to the left wing.

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

A total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel planning.

Full narrative available

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