FTW97LA332
FTW97LA332

On August 27, 1997, at 1830 central daylight time, a Pitts S-2B, N9QT, owned and operated by a private individual under Title 14 CFR Part 91, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Mountain View, Arkansas. The commercial pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight and a flight plan was not filed. The personal flight originated from Marshall, Arkansas, at 1800.

During a telephone interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, witnesses reported that the flight was inbound to the Wilcox Memorial Field Airport at Mountain View, with a low fuel condition. One witness at a private grass airstrip, talked to the pilot of N9QT, via the aircraft radio, and told the pilot that the airplane had passed over his airstrip. According to the witness, the pilot reported that he had throttled back the airplane's power to "23" [inches manifold pressure] and would continue to Mountain View. During a subsequent radio transmission, the pilot stated "Oh, I just ran out and going down into a field, do not see the airport." The airplane landed in a field about 4 miles from the private airstrip.

During a telephone interview, conducted by the investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that he had purchased the airplane in July 1997, and had flown the airplane to Wyoming, Montana, North Carolina, Texas, and Arkansas, for a total flight time of 60 hours. The airplane was last refueled at the Baxter County Regional Airport at Mountain Home, Arkansas. A refueling stop was planned at Marshall, Arkansas. The pilot stated that his preflight preparation indicated that fuel was available at Marshall; however, upon landing at Marshall with a low fuel condition, the pilot discovered that fuel was not available at the airport. The pilot called personnel at the Wilcox Memorial Field airport in Mountain View and was informed that fuel was available at that airport. Thinking that he had 5 gallons of fuel remaining, the pilot departed Marshall for Mountain View (24 nautical miles). En route to the airport, the "engine quit out of gas" and a forced landing was made to a field. During the landing roll, the airplane struck a fence. Structural damage occurred to the outboard portion of the upper left wing, the propeller, the wheel fairings, and the tailwheel.

Neither the Sectional Chart nor the Airport/Facility Directory, current for the day of the accident, indicated fuel available at the Searcy County Airport, Marshall, Arkansas.

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