NTSB Identification: ERA11LA292
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, May 10, 2011 in Troy, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2012
Aircraft: FLIGHT DESIGN GMBH CTLS, registration: N78BZ
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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

The flight instructor and the pilot-rated passenger reported that they began the cross-country flight with about 15 gallons of fuel, which was enough to fly for 3 hours. About 1 hour after departure, the airplane was in cruise flight when the pilots received a low fuel pressure warning on the airplane's multifunction display. Shortly after, the airplane's engine began to sputter. The instructor maneuvered the airplane toward a road to execute a forced landing, and the engine experienced a total loss of power. During landing, the airplane's right wing impacted a telephone pole guy wire. The right wing separated from the airframe, and the airplane came to rest upright in a ditch. At the accident site, examination of the airplane's right wing fuel tank revealed a “sheen” of fuel, and the left wing fuel tank was found to be dry. About one cup of fuel was drained from the gascolator, and the carburetor float bowls were absent of fuel. Both a visual inspection and a successful test run of the engine after the accident revealed no evidence of any preaccident mechanical malfunctions or anomalies. Examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of fuel leakage from the wings or the engine compartment. It is likely that the pilots overestimated the amount of fuel aboard the airplane, which resulted in fuel exhaustion.

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

The pilots’ failure to ensure that the airplane had enough fuel to complete the planned flight, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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