ATL05CA037
ATL05CA037

On January 4, 2005, at 1330 eastern standard time, an experimental homebuilt Pulsar III, N6133U, registered to and operated by the commercial pilot, collided with the ground in a marshy area shortly after takeoff from the Ocean Isle Airport in Ocean Isle, North Carolina. The flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local flight. The pilot was not injured and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The flight originated from Ocean Isle Airport in Ocean Isle, North Carolina at 1315, on January 4, 2005.

According to the pilot on the day of the accident, prior to takeoff, he had added about two to two and one-half gallons of fuel to the left wing tank. He stated that he did not check the fuel quantity in either tank when he added the fuel, and believed that the right tank had about eight gallons remaining from his last flight. He stated that about 15-minutes after takeoff he experienced engine failure. He said that his altitude was about 800 feet mean sea level. He stated that he elected to do a forced landing in a marshy area rather than attempt to stretch the glide toward the airport which was about two miles away.

Examination of the wreckage found the main landing gear intact but separated from the airframe, and the empennage broken between the vertical stabilizer and the cockpit. Examination of the fuel tanks found about two gallons of unusable fuel in each tank. The pilot stated that the accident could have been avoided if he had visually inspected the fuel tanks prior to takeoff. Additionally, according to the pilot, several other aircraft at the airport had discovered that their fuel had been stolen the night before the accident.

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