MIA00LA173
MIA00LA173

On May 27, 2000, about 1145 eastern daylight time, a Rawdon T1, N2706D, registered to and operated by Aerial Sign Company, Inc., experienced a loss of engine power and collided with trees during a forced landing in a state park near North Miami Beach, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR Part 91 banner towing flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the commercial-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight originated about 1015, from the North Perry Airport, Hollywood, Florida.

The pilot stated that during the flight, the engine began surging. He turned on both auxiliary fuel pumps and tanks, dropped the banner, and made a precautionary landing in an open field. During the landing roll he maneuvered the airplane to avoid pedestrians and the left wing collided with a tree damaging three ribs.

Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed approximately 9 gallons of fuel in the right fuel tank, no fuel in the left fuel tank, and both fuel tank selector valves on.

Following repairs to the left wing of the airplane (no work was performed to the engine), the engine was started and operated to full static rpm; no discrepancies were noted. Additionally, the left fuel gauge was not indicating empty with an empty fuel tank; it was indicating near midpoint of the "no takeoff" arc, which is positioned between empty and just below 1/4 indication.

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