On September 27, 1997, at 1710 eastern daylight time, a Beech 33, N331DP, collided with a utility pole while attempting an emergency landing to a field eight miles southwest of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The pilot operated the personal flight under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the private pilot and the three passengers were not injured. The flight departed Jasper, Georgia, at 1455.

The pilot stated that before departing Jasper he checked the aircraft fuel supply and elected not to refuel. During the examination of the fuel supply, he reported that the fuel supply in the left wing tank was two inches below the filler cap. The right fuel gauge showed 1/4 tank. The pilot thought he had ample fuel for the 269 mile fight back to Winston Salem.

At 1640, the pilot advised Greensboro Tower that he was experiencing engine problems and requested assistance to the nearest airport. Moments later, the pilot told the tower controller that the engine was running again, and he wanted to continue the flight to Winston-Salem. At approximately 1647, the pilot reported that the engine had quit again; the airplane collided with the utility pole and lines during the forced landing.

Examination of the airplane failed to disclose a mechanical problem or system malfunction. There was no fuel recovered from the aircraft fuel system during the field examination of the airframe. The pilot stated that more fuel should have been put into the right tank before he departed.

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