On October 14, 1995, about 1722 eastern daylight time, a Beech B24R, N2544W, collided with a tree during a forced landing near Bethpage, New York. The airplane was substantially damaged. The private pilot and one passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an IFR flight plan had been filed. The personal flight originated in Gardiner, New York, at 1530 destined for Farmingdale, New York. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

In the NTSB form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated:

...Preflight showed 15 gallons of fuel in left tank, undetermined in the right tank. With the assumption that it took 35 minutes to get there [Farmingdale], and the fuel available when we left was 28 [to] 29 gallons, 5 [to] 6 gallons should be in the right tank....Decided to do a full instrument approach [to Farmingdale]....On the north shoreline of Long Island, I was turned west to pick up the ILS. Noting at the same time the wind was slowing us to 40 [to] 50 knots ground speed. Two to three miles before intercepting the ILS the left tank ran out of gas. Immediately I switched to the right tank and the engine came alive.

Continued approach....I reported the outer marker to the tower. At approximately 700 [to] 800 feet, the engine sputtered, I turned on the fuel pump while pulling on the yoke to slow the aircraft to best glide, 80 MPH. With the headwinds on the ILS, I indicated 100 knots and was ground tracking at 65 knots. When the engine stopped, I believed we would be unable to reach the airport. I declared an emergency when the engine sputtered. Then told the tower I was going down off the airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration Inspector examined the wreckage and found both fuel tanks were empty, and the fuel tanks were not ruptured or leaking fuel.

Additionally, the pilot reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane and recommended that better flight planning could have prevented the accident.

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