On June 5, 2004, at 1515 central daylight time, a Merkel Acro Sport II, N796DM, collided with a power line and the terrain during a forced landing following a loss of engine power five miles west of Beloit, Wisconsin. The commercial rated pilot was not injured. The airplane received substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions without a flight plan. The flight originated from the pilot's private airstrip in Pecatonica, Illinois, with en route landings in Freeport, Illinois, and at the Monroe Municipal Airport (EFT), Monroe, Wisconsin. The destination was Early Merkel Field, the pilots private airstrip, in Pecatonica, Illinois.

The pilot stated the fuel quantity gauge in the airplane was inoperative and he uses a dip stick to check the fuel quantity. He stated he had 13 gallons of fuel on board when he departed from his private airstrip. He made full stop landings then taxied back for takeoff at both Freeport and EFT. He stated he did not shut the engine down at either stop. The pilot estimated that he departed EFT with 7 gallons of fuel on board.

The pilot stated the airplane usually burns 6 gallons per hour for normal flight and 7.5 gallons per hour when he is performing acrobatics. The airplane holds a total of 24 gallons of fuel of which 22 gallons are usable. Post accident inspection of the airplane by an inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration Milwaukee Flight Standards District Office, revealed there were two gallons of fuel on board the airplane.

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