On April 25, 2001, at about 1625 central daylight time, a Steen Skybolt I, N14DE, registered to a private individual, operating as a Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight, crashed while maneuvering near Germantown, Tennessee. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The aircraft received substantial damage, and the airline transport-rated pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. The flight departed a private airstrip near Germantown about 10 minutes before the accident. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the pilot, based on 20 years of experience with the aircraft, he determined on his preflight walk around inspection that he had 1/2 tank of fuel, (12 gallons) onboard. His planned flight was 20 minutes, and with a known fuel burn of 8.5 gallons/hour, he was comfortable with the fuel. Start-up, departure, and climb to 1,500 feet agl, were normal until about 1620, when he started losing engine power. During his turn away from a populated area, the engine quit completely, and all attempts at a restart were unsuccessful. His best selection for an emergency landing was a residential street. During the emergency landing, his landing gear collided with a car rear window, the right wing collided with a utility pole, the left wing collided with a wooden mailbox, and the right stabilizer collided with a street sign. He was not injured, and he immediately selected the fuel valve to "off" for safety reasons.
According to two FAA inspectors, about 1/2 pint of fuel was found in the 29-gallon fuel tank. The aircraft wreckage or the surrounding area revealed no signs of fuel or fuel spillage. Examination of the engine, firewall, and fuel system components revealed no evidence of leakage. The bottom of the fuselage revealed no signs of fuel stains. The inspectors had the pilot open the fuel valve and attempt to sump fuel out of the aft fuel drain with no results. The front fuel drain yielded about five drops of aviation fuel. The pilot stated to them that he thought he had at least 12 gallons of aviation fuel aboard, when he actually had 4 gallons aboard.