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N524J accident description

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Crash location 35.216667°N, 86.083333°W
Nearest city Decherd, TN
35.209805°N, 86.079429°W
0.5 miles away
Tail number N524J
Accident date 03 Jun 2005
Aircraft type David S Robbins Christavia MK 1
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On June 3, 2005 at 1830 central daylight time, an experimental Christavia MK 1, N524J, collided with the ground while attempting an emergency landing in Decherd, Tennessee. The flight operated under provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed. The pilot suffered minor injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. The flight originated from Winchester Municipal Airport, Winchester, Tennessee on June 3, 2005 at 1800.

The purpose of the flight was to practice for a biennial flight review. The pilot said he performed a preflight inspection but stated that he "failed to visually check the fuel quantity in the tanks." On departure, the fuel gauge read 1/2 full. After 25 minutes of flying, the pilot noticed a minor reduction in engine RPM. The fuel gauge read 3/8 full and the pilot applied carburetor heat. A few minutes later the engine started sputtering and the pilot turned on the electric fuel pump. The pilot stated that the engine failed and he was unsuccessful in restarting it. The pilot located a pasture for an emergency landing and was approximately 50 feet above the ground when he banked hard to the right to avoid four poles sticking out of the ground. The airplane collided with the ground.

The pilot did not report any mechanical malfunction with the airplane prior to the accident. Examination of the airplane revealed the right wing spar broken, all the landing gear detached, the propeller bent, engine compartment crushed and belly of the fuselage crushed. The fuel gauge was on 'E' and there was no fuel recovered from the fuel tanks. The examination of the airplane also revealed that the fuel tanks were not breached.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning which resulted in fuel exhaustion and subsequent loss of engine power.

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