On February 16, 1996, at 1340 central standard time, a Rockwell 500U, N197K, registered to, and operated by Kel Air Inc., as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 positioning flight, was forced to land following a loss of engine power, near Hampton, Arkansas. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The airplane was substantially damaged and the airline transport pilot-in-command was not injured. The flight originated from Hampton, Arkansas, approximately 10 minutes prior to the accident and was en route to Crossett, Arkansas.

The pilot reported that, he "dropped off a passenger" at Hampton after a flight from Texarkana, Arkansas. He then departed Hampton, en route to Crossett to "refuel and return to Hampton." "Climbing through 6,500 [feet], the left engine began to surge." After turning back to Hampton (about 12 miles away), "both engines began to sputter and quit." Descending through 4,500 feet, the pilot attempted to restart the right engine, and then the left engine. Both engines individually "ran" for 15-30 seconds, but "quit again." During the emergency descent, and passing through 1,500 feet, the pilot "maneuvered around" a tower to execute an emergency landing to a farmer's field. Upon ground contact, the left wing "caught a terrace and turned [the airplane] sideways." The right main landing gear and nose gear then collapsed, with the airplane coming to rest upright.

Examination of the airplane by a FAA inspector, revealed "stress wrinkles" on the left wing between the nacelle and the fuselage. Additionally, the fuselage structure above the nose gear mounts was damaged. In an interview with the FAA inspector, the pilot stated that, he "ran out of fuel." Further inspection by a FAA airworthiness inspector revealed no usable fuel on board.

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