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N5607F accident description

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Crash location 42.781111°N, 86.210000°W
Nearest city Holland, MI
42.787523°N, 86.108930°W
5.1 miles away
Tail number N5607F
Accident date 19 Jul 2015
Aircraft type Alon A2
Additional details: None
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NTSB Factual Report

On July 19, 2015, about 1905 eastern daylight time, an Alon A2 single-engine airplane, N5607F, impacted soft terrain during a forced landing following a total loss of engine power near Holland, Michigan. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, sustained minor injuries. The airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which did not operate on a flight plan. The flight originated from the West Michigan Regional Airport (BIV), near Holland, Michigan, about 1900, and was destined for the Grand Haven Memorial Airpark (3GM), near Grand Haven, Michigan.

The pilot indicated that he visually checked the airplane's fuel tanks before departure but that he did not measure the amount of fuel. According to his accident report, the airplane had 9.7 gallons of fuel at its last takeoff. He reported that he flew south from Grand Haven, Michigan, to St. Joseph, Michigan (which was 70 miles away), then turned north to take photographs over Fenville, Michigan. He proceeded to BIV and conducted a touch-and-go-landing. After taking off from BIV, he turned the airplane from a west heading to a north heading to return to 3GM. After completing the turn, the airplane lost engine power, and the engine "quit" about 30 seconds later. He said that there was low-level turbulence during the flight. He performed a forced landing on a beach where the airplane came to an abrupt stop when the nose landing gear contacted the soft sand. The airplane sustained engine damage and substantial fuselage and right wing spar damage.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the wreckage on scene. The inspector indicated that there were no apparent fuel spills, leaks, or stains at the beach site, nor in the hangar where the airplane was recovered. The gascolator was nearly filled with fuel before being drained to ascertain the total fuel on board. The amount of recovered fuel was estimated to be about 1/2 gallon.

The type certificate data sheet for the accident airplane indicated that it had a fuel capacity of 24 gallons of fuel and it did not list an unusable amount of fuel for the airplane's fuel system.

At 1855, the recorded weather at the Muskegon County Airport, near Muskegon, Michigan, was: Wind 310 degrees at 6 knots, visibility 10 statute miles; sky condition few clouds at 5,500, broken clouds at 21,000; temperature 24 degrees C; dew point 14 degrees C; altimeter 29.85 inches of mercury.

NTSB Probable Cause

A total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation during cruise flight. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel planning.

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