Monday, April 13, 2020

Fuel Exhaustion: Pitts S-2B, N487J; accident occurred April 10, 2020 near Flying Oaks Airport (2TE2), Azle, Texas

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Irving, Texas

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Fort Worth, TX
Accident Number: CEN20CA146
Date & Time: 04/10/2020, 1744 CDT
Registration: N487J
Aircraft: Pitts S2
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion
Injuries:2 Minor 
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

The pilot reported that during his preflight inspection, he perceived the fuel tank was about half full of fuel. After the airplane departed the airport and reached about 1,300 ft above ground level, the engine lost all power. The pilot turned back to the airport and selected a field for a forced landing, but realized the airplane was not able to glide to that field and so he selected a closer field. The airplane landed hard and nosed over, which damaged the vertical stabilizer and rudder. Post-accident examination of the airplane revealed the fuel tank contained about 1 gallon of fuel. Following the accident, the pilot stated he misread the fuel gauge.

Pilot Information

Certificate: Airline Transport; Flight Engineer; Military; Private
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s):None 
Restraint Used:
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present:No 
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:No 
Medical Certification: Class 1 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 01/13/2020
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 04/06/2020
Flight Time:  (Estimated) 20000 hours (Total, all aircraft), 300 hours (Total, this make and model), 10000 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 150 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 1 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Pitts
Registration: N487J
Model/Series: S2 B
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1987
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Aerobatic; Normal
Serial Number: 5127
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 01/02/2020, Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1700 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 1951 Hours
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time:  as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming
ELT: Not installed
Engine Model/Series: AEIO-540-D4A5
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power: 260 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: KNFW, 608 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 6 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1752 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 131°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 25000 ft agl
Visibility:  10 Miles
Lowest Ceiling:
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 6 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction:160° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.98 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C / 7°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Fort Worth, TX
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Cleburne, TX (CPT)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1740 CDT
Type of Airspace: Unknown 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Minor
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Minor
Latitude, Longitude: 32.815556, -97.543056

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