Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Aviation Accident

Quick Launch

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA208
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 25, 2017 in Louisa, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2017
Aircraft: DEMPSEY DANIEL M ZODIAC CH601XLB, registration: N978ER
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The private pilot in the light-sport, experimental airplane reported that the flight was conducted with the intent of burning off fuel because he planned to pick up a passenger. When the pilot entered the downwind traffic pattern, the engine stopped. The pilot reported that, “my mistake had been to not switch fuel tanks before the one I was on was sucked dry.” The pilot switched the fuel selector to a full tank and attempted to restart the engine as he maneuvered to reach the runway. The airplane’s airspeed was slow, and the airplane stalled. The airplane landed hard on the left side of the runway centerline and remained on the runway when it came to rest. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the firewall and the fuselage aft of the firewall.  
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s in-flight fuel mismanagement and subsequent failure to maintain adequate airspeed while attempting to land on the runway, which resulted in an aerodynamic stall and a hard landing.