Fuel exhaustion Accident Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 20-A1 N278PL,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 355417
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Date:Saturday 9 August 1997
Time:22:58 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic DV20 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 20-A1
Owner/operator:Interstate Aircraft Sls & Leas
Registration: N278PL
MSN: 10278
Engine model:Rotax 912
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Slatington, PA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:N. Myrtle Beach, SC
Destination airport:(69N)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot descended from 3,500 feet MSL to 1,500 feet, circled the airport for 15 minutes as he was unable to activate the runway lights. He decided to climb to 2,500 feet, and he diverted to another airport, but shortly thereafter, the engine lost power. During the forced landing to a lighted, golf course, the airplane collided with a telephone pole, and descended to the ground. He had refueled the airplane with 19.4 gallons. According to the FAA, examination of the wreckage revealed 4 ounces of fuel in the fuel tanks, and the carburetor was empty. The total capacity of the fuel tanks was 20.3 gallons, the useable fuel was 19.5 gallons, and the fuel consumption was 3.8 gallons per hour. The flight had been airborne for over 4 hours 43 minutes. The pilot said there was no mechanical malfunction with the airplane, and the accident could have been prevented if proper reserve, diversion, and emergency procedures were followed. A functional test of the airport lights was performed after the accident, and they operated satisfactory. According to the FAA, this was the pilot's first flight to this airport.

Probable Cause: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning/ preparation which resulted in fuel exhaustion.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: IAD97LA107
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 2 years and 5 months
Download report: Final report




Revision history:

12-Mar-2024 11:44 ASN Update Bot Added

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