ATL03LA026
ATL03LA026

On December 22, 2002, at 1450 eastern standard time, an experimental Preceptor Ultra Pup, N5178D, registered to and operated by a private owner, experienced a loss of engine power and collided with the ground near Smithville, Tennessee. The personal flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of accident. The airplane sustained substantial damage, and the private pilot received minor injuries. The flight departed Evansville Regional Airport, Evansville, Indiana on December 22, 2002 at 1255 central standard time.

According to the pilot, he had just purchased the airplane and was returning to his home base. Approximately 14 miles from the Smithville Municipal Airport, Smithville, Tennessee, the engine began to run rough. The pilot applied carburetor heat, and the engine stopped. The pilot executed an emergency landing in a rough and uneven field; the airplane collided with a fence during the landing roll.

Examination of the airplane revealed that the main landing gear separated from the airframe, and the right wing was partially separated from the fuselage. No fuel was found in the left or right wing tanks. Three gallons of fuel was drained from the header tank, and no blockages were observed. The fuel gascolator under the header tank was empty. The pilot did not report any mechanical or flight control malfunctions prior to the flight.

The pilot stated that he preflight planned for 2.5 hours, a fuel capacity of 12 gallons. The pilot had been flying for approximately 2 hours. Additionally, the airplane did not have an electrical system installed or an engine driven fuel pump, but there was an electric power fuel pump installed. The examination of the electric fuel pump system revealed that the battery power pack was discharged. According to the builder, the electrical fuel pump was used to supply additional pressure to the fuel system.

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