Saturday, November 27, 2021

Fuel Exhaustion: Van's RV-6, N443JB; accident occurred August 01, 2021 near Grimes Field Airport (I74), Urbana, Champaign County, Ohio

Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board
The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident. 

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Columbus, Ohio

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Urbana, Ohio 
Accident Number: CEN21LA365
Date and Time: August 1, 2021, 08:00 Local 
Registration: N443JB
Aircraft: Vans RV6 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Fuel exhaustion 
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The private pilot reported that he did not visually check the fuel quantity in the two wing fuel tanks before takeoff. While the airplane was on final approach to land, with the right-wing fuel tank selected, the engine stopped producing power. The airplane impacted a corn field about ½ mile away from the airport. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the engine mount and the left wing. A post-accident examination revealed that the right-wing fuel tank was empty.

A Federal Aviation Administration aviation safety inspector stated that the pilot admitted to “running out of gas.”

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection and fuel planning which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.


Aircraft Fuel - Fluid level
Aircraft Fuel - Not inspected
Aircraft (general) - Failure
Personnel issues Preflight inspection - Pilot
Personnel issues Fuel planning - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Prior to flight Aircraft inspection event
Approach-VFR pattern final Fuel exhaustion (Defining event)
Approach-VFR pattern final Loss of engine power (total)
Approach-VFR pattern final Attempted remediation/recovery
Approach-VFR pattern final Off-field or emergency landing

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private 
Age: 61, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land
Seat Occupied: Left
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: June 30, 2021
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: March 7, 2021
Flight Time: 1645 hours (Total, all aircraft), 120 hours (Total, this make and model), 1645 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft), 30 hours (Last 90 days, all aircraft), 20 hours (Last 30 days, all aircraft), 2 hours (Last 24 hours, all aircraft)

Co-pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 91, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Right
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None 
Restraint Used: 5-point
Instrument Rating(s): None 
Second Pilot Present: Yes
Instructor Rating(s): None 
Toxicology Performed:
Medical Certification: Class 3 Without waivers/limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: July 2, 2020
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: June 21, 2020
Flight Time: 3565 hours (Total, all aircraft), 1710 hours (Total, this make and model), 3565 hours (Pilot In Command, all aircraft)

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Vans 
Registration: N443JB
Model/Series: RV6
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1989 
Amateur Built: Yes
Airworthiness Certificate: Experimental (Special) 
Serial Number: 20023
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: October 15, 2020 Annual
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 1600 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 1850 Hrs at time of accident
Engine Manufacturer: Lycoming Engines
ELT: C91 installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: O-320 Series
Registered Owner:
Rated Power: 150 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Does Business As: None
Operator Designator Code: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KEDJ, 1123 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 16 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 08:15 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 349°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 6 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 5 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 200° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 29.94 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 15°C / 15°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Hebron, OH (9OA5)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Destination: Urbana, OH (I74)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 07:30 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Airport: GRIMES FLD I74
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 1067 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry; Vegetation
Runway Used: 02/20
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 4400 ft / 100 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Forced landing; Full stop; Traffic pattern

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 2 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 40.15119,-83.748438(est)


  1. I think if he would have had more gas none of that would have happened.

  2. My thoughts are.. if you crash land your plane and live through it because of fuel exhaustion unrelated to unforecast weather, then your license should be permanently revoked. Inexcusable.

    1. dang...aint you a fun nazi. You need so sign up for FAA job, they are looking for folks like you pard

  3. He and fellow pilot pax ass_u_me(d) he filled the tanks two flights ago, something he likely never failed to do with a truck or car.