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N78RB accident description

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Crash location 34.593055°N, 91.571667°W
Nearest city Stuttgart, AR
34.500375°N, 91.552628°W
6.5 miles away
Tail number N78RB
Accident date 21 Apr 2012
Aircraft type MOODY-SIPLE A
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 21, 2012, approximately 1650 central daylight time, a Moody-Siple Model A, N78RB, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a field near Stuttgart, Arkansas. The pilot received minor injuries. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 without a flight plan. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The cross-country flight had departed Batesville (KBVX), Arkansas, about 1330 and was en route to Searcy (KSRC), Arkansas.

The pilot did not submit National Transportation Safety Board Form 6120.1/2, Pilot-Operator Aircraft Accident Report, but submitted a written statement instead. According to his statement, he refueled in Batesville, Arkansas, with 32 gallons of fuel and departed about 1330. He flew to an area south of Searcy, Arkansas, and practiced maneuvers to preparation for an upcoming May biennial flight review. Stalls, steep turns, figure eights, slow flight, and simulated emergency landings were performed.

The pilot said that when he flies by himself, he normally uses fuel from the left fuel tank first in order to balance the fuel load. After two hours of practicing maneuvers, he switched to the right tank. The fuel gauge registered empty. Shortly thereafter, the engine lost power. The pilot switched back to the left tank and the engine regained power. He flew towards Stuttgart, Arkansas, but within a few minutes, the engine lost power again. He attempted to land on a raised road between two rice fields, but the left landing gear went off the edge of the road and was sheared off. The airplane veered off the road and went into the rice field. The right main and nose landing gears collapsed, punching a hole in the right wing and fuel tank. Approximately 300 feet of power line was found wrapped around the right main landing gear and trailing behind the airplane. There were no reported power outages in the area. The pilot said he did not know he had struck a power line.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot’s inadequate fuel monitoring, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

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