On August 19, 2000, at 1200 hours Pacific daylight time, a homebuilt experimental 1917 Hickey replica, SE5-A, N596, was substantially damaged during an off-airport landing at San Bernardino, California. The private pilot/operator was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight operating under 14 CFR Part 91, and no flight plan was filed. The flight originated at Redlands, California, about 1140, and was destined for La Verne, California.

Prior to the arrival of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the pilot stated to police and fire department personnel that he had run out of fuel. According to the FAA inspector, 10 gallons of fuel had been added to the fuel tank before he arrived on scene, and the pilot was planning on flying the airplane from the golf course.

The pilot reported that he had departed with 6 to 8 gallons of fuel. He estimated the quantity by looking at the fuel indicator. He said the he should have verified the fuel with the use of a rod or wood stick.

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