Monday, November 11, 2019

Loss of Engine Power (Total): Evektor-Aerotechnik SportStar, N409EV; accident occurred July 20, 2019 near Tracy Municipal Airport (KTCY), San Joaquin County, California

View of right wing damage.
Federal Aviation Administration

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Alameda, California

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Tracy, CA
Accident Number: GAA19CA446
Date & Time: 07/20/2019, 1800 PDT
Registration: N409EV
Aircraft: Evektor Aerotechnik SPORTSTAR
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

View of fuselage and left wing damage.
Federal Aviation Administration


The pilot reported that, while conducting the preflight inspection, he mistook the voltmeter for the fuel gauge. The first leg of his flight was uneventful; however, on the return flight, the engine started to sputter and then lost all power. He navigated toward a nearby airport, but when he realized that the airplane would not reach the airport, he chose to land on a field near the south end of the airport. During the landing, the left wing impacted a tree.

The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and horizontal stabilizer.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. 

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's improper fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion and a subsequent emergency landing and collision with a tree.


Fuel - Fluid level (Cause)

Personnel issues
Fuel planning - Pilot (Cause)

Environmental issues
Tree(s) - Effect on operation (Cause)

Factual Information

History of Flight

Fuel exhaustion
Loss of engine power (total) (Defining event)

Off-field or emergency landing
Collision with terr/obj (non-CFIT)

Pilot Information

Certificate: Sport Pilot
Age: 68, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Sport Pilot
Last FAA Medical Exam: 12/14/2011
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 10/20/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) , 707.2 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft) 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Evektor Aerotechnik
Registration: N409EV
Model/Series: SPORTSTAR No Series
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 2005
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Special Light-Sport
Serial Number: 20050409
Landing Gear Type: Tricycle
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection:  Unknown
Certified Max Gross Wt.:
Time Since Last Inspection:
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:
Engine Manufacturer: Bombardier
Engine Model/Series:
Registered Owner: Michael E Duncan
Rated Power:
Operator: Sunshine Flyers
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: TCY, 193 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site:
Observation Time: 0055 UTC
Direction from Accident Site:
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 9 knots / 15 knots
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 310°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.81 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 12°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: San Martin, CA (E16)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Auburn, CA (AUN)
Type of Clearance: Unknown
Departure Time: 1700 PDT
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport:Tracy Muni (TCY) 
Runway Surface Type: Dirt
Airport Elevation: 193 ft
Runway Surface Condition: Rough
Runway Used: N/A
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width:
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced Landing

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None
Latitude, Longitude: 37.673056, -121.438056 (est)

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