FTW97LA355
FTW97LA355

On September 22, 1997, at 0730 central daylight time, a Grumman AG5B airplane, N1194L, registered to a private owner and operated by Britt Air, Inc., was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, near Texarkana, Arkansas. The private pilot and the passenger received serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. An IFR flight plan was filed for the night cross-country flight that originated in Lawrenceville, Georgia, approximately 0300.

The pilot reported in the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) that the route of flight was from Lawrenceville to Dallas with a stop at Texarkana to refuel. The pilot stated that he switched the fuel tank selector after the first thirty minutes of flight, again at one hour thirty minutes after take off, two hours thirty minutes and three hours thirty minutes after take off. The airplane was approximately 10 miles from the Texarkana Regional Airport, on final approach for landing, when the engine lost power. The pilot stated that he "immediately" switched tanks and the engine restarted. Approximately one minute later the engine quit a second time. The pilot notified air traffic control that the aircraft had run out of fuel and he would not be able to make it to the airport. The pilot initiated a right turn toward a flat, unplowed field and during the turn "the airplane stalled." The pilot reported that he "dropped the nose of the aircraft" to regain control and continued to the field. The airplane impacted a highway short of the intended field, and came to rest inverted, on top of a fence.

The pilot reported that the aircraft had 5 hours of fuel on board when the flight departed Lawrenceville. The pilot reported that the engine quit the first time 4 hours and 9 minutes after takeoff. The pilot stated that he had recorded the fuel consumption on a previous flight to determine the fuel consumption rate, but never actually performed the calculation due to an illness in the family.

Rescue personnel stated that no fuel was observed around the wreckage and there was no fire.

The following weather conditions were observed at the Texarkana Regional Airport at the time of the accident: wind from 070 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 miles and scattered clouds at 11,000 feet.

The pilot had a accumulated a total of 1,244 hours of which 52 hours were in this make and model.

Examination of the aircraft by the FAA inspector revealed that the engine separated from the airframe. The right wing tip separated from the wing. The nose gear and left main gear separated from the aircraft.

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