Saturday, June 23, 2018

Van's RV-6A, N555TN: Accident occurred September 07, 2015 near Richard B. Russell Regional Airport (KRMG) Rome, Floyd County, Georgia

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Rome, GA
Accident Number: ERA15LA344
Date & Time: 09/07/2015, 1000 EDT
Registration: N555TN
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 7, 2015, about 1000 eastern daylight time, an experimental amateur-built Van's RV-6A, N555TN, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in a field after a total loss of engine power in Rome, Georgia. The pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the local personal flight, which departed Richard B. Russell Regional Airport (RMG), Rome, Georgia, and was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.

According to the pilot, during the preflight inspection he measured the fuel quantity in the right tank as 3 gallons, and the left tank as 6 gallons, using a dip stick. He noted that the fuel was "low, but adequate for 2-3 touch-and-go landings." He recalled using the right fuel tank for taxi operations, and had moved the fuel selector to the left tank just prior to the engine run up, where it remained for the duration of the flight.

The pilot reported that after takeoff, he had completed one touch and go landing to runway 7, and remained in a left traffic pattern. As he turned left to the base leg for a second landing, he elected to remain at the traffic pattern altitude of 1,500 feet, extend the base leg beyond the runway centerline, and then turned left to an upwind leg parallel to the runway. He intended to complete another full traffic pattern before landing. As he began a left turn to the crosswind leg about 4.5 miles beyond the runway 25 threshold, the engine lost all power. He then performed a 180-degree left turn toward runway 25. After an unsuccessful attempt to restart the engine, he determined that he would not make the runway, and turned left towards a field for an off-airport landing.

Examination of the accident site and airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the airplane had come to rest upright in a grass field. The nose and left main landing gear were collapsed. Both wings were bent upward outboard of the flaps. The right side of the empennage displayed compression buckling just aft of the right rear window, and had partially separated from the fuselage on the left side at the same location. The left horizontal stabilizer and elevator were bent down and forward. Flight control continuity was established from the flight control surfaces to the cockpit controls, with some binding noted consistent with impact damage.

The spark plugs were removed and appeared normal in color and wear. The left magneto produced spark on all leads. The right magneto was inaccessible and could not be tested. The engine drivetrain was rotated by hand at the propeller, and thumb compression and suction was noted on each cylinder. The fuel tanks remained intact. About 1.5 gallons of fuel was present in the left fuel tank. The right fuel tank was found absent of fuel, and no fuel was present in the fuel strainer. Review of a pilot operating handbook for a similar make and model airplane revealed that each tank held 19 gallons of fuel, with about 1 gallon in each tank unusable.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 53, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:Unknown 
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: None
Last FAA Medical Exam:  
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 490 hours (Total, all aircraft), 98 hours (Total, this make and model), 418 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: EASTERWOOD MARK W
Registration: N555TN
Model/Series: RV 6A A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental
Serial Number: 23623
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  
Engine Manufacturer: LYCOMING
Engine Model/Series: O-320-E3D
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 150 hp
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KRMG, 644 ft msl
Observation Time: 0953 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Direction from Accident Site: 246°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C / 20°C
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility: 10 Miles
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Visibility (RVR):
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Visibility (RVV):
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: ROME, GA (RMG)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: ROME, GA (RMG)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 0955 EDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: N/A
Airport Elevation: 644 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.355556, -85.140833 (est)


  1. My instructor told me a long time ago that the only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire! I always top off the tanks before a flight.

  2. ^^^ The other time one can have too much fuel is when the aircraft's gross weight is exceeded by carrying too much fuel for the amount of payload onboard! Tell your instructor that.

  3. Gas? We don't need no stinkin' gas! Hold my beer!

  4. Instructor is right knothead! :-) Minimize your payload....never compromise on fuel! It's an RV... With maybe 38 gallons to start with....