ERA12CA568
ERA12CA568

The pilot was performing a routine pipeline patrol flight at 1,500 feet agl, and after flying for about 3 hours, the engine “sputtered,” then ceased producing power. The pilot then attempted to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful, and prepared for an emergency landing in a farm field below. The pilot was unable to recall the events that subsequently transpired, but a post-accident examination of the airplane showed that the left main landing gear collapsed during the landing, resulting in substantial damage to the left wing and engine firewall. Additionally, the fuel system remained intact and both fuel tanks were absent of fuel. About 1/2-pint of fuel was recovered from the fuel strainer, carburetor supply fuel line, and the carburetor float bowl. Following the accident, the pilot stated that he did not check the fuel level prior to departing on the accident flight, and that the accident could have been prevented by performing a proper preflight inspection of the airplane using the publish procedure in the pilot’s operating handbook and not “repetitive memory.”

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