NTSB Identification: CEN10CA087
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, January 01, 2010 in Pearsall, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/06/2010
Aircraft: MAULE M-4-220C, registration: N2028U
Injuries: 3 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.

While on a night cross-country flight the pilot experienced problems with the airplane’s global positioning system (GPS) and elected to land to recharge the battery. Once airborne the pilot again experienced problems with the GPS and received vectors to his destination airport. While in the vicinity of the destination airport, the pilot was unable to activate the airport’s runway lights or to see the airport beacon. The pilot then selected an alternate airport located 45 miles away; however, while en route the airplane’s fuel supply was exhausted and the airplane experienced a complete loss of engine power. During the ensuing forced landing the main landing gear collapsed and the airplane came to rest upright in a ditch. The pilot and passengers were able to exit unassisted. A review of flight planning publications for the destination airport revealed that the rotating beacon was listed as out of service and that a frequency other than the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency was needed to activate the runway lights. In addition, Federal Aviation Regulations require a pilot flying at night to have enough fuel to arrive at the intended destination plus an additional 45 minutes worth of fuel.

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 planning.

Full narrative available

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