Improper fuel planning bends weight-shift controlled aircraft

The pilot of the weight-shift control aircraft reported that he departed with 6 gallons of fuel and the estimated fuel burn was 3 gallons per hour. He added that, during the flight they performed multiple climbs and descents and he believed the aircraft burned more fuel than usual.

About 1 hour and 15 minutes into the flight, the engine lost power. He restarted the engine momentarily, but then lost power again. He attempted to restart multiple times again, to no avail.

During the forced landing near Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, he attempted to land on a soccer field, but the aircraft hit terrain about 15 yards short of the intended landing site.

The aircraft sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.

The pilot added that, after visiting the hospital, he went back to look at the aircraft and did not observe any fuel in the fuel tank.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s improper preflight fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

NTSB Identification: 99184

This March 2019 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.

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