Horseshoe Bay, Texas
The commercial pilot was conducting a personal, cross-country flight with one passenger onboard. The pilot reported that, about 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours into the flight, the engine started to lose power. The pilot contacted air traffic control for vectors to the nearest airport. The pilot then checked the gauges and applied carburetor heat. The engine initially responded; however, a few minutes later, the engine lost all power, and the pilot’s additional attempts to restore power were unsuccessful. The pilot did not think that the airplane could reach the nearest airport, so he established a glide for an off-airport forced landing, during which the airplane impacted trees and terrain and sustained substantial damage. During recovery of the airplane wreckage, the fuel tanks were found intact and empty. Additionally, there was no evidence of fuel leakage on the ground. The pilot reported that the airplane ran out of fuel and that the accident could have been prevented by better calculation and review of distance, fuel, and time in flight.
Probable cause(s): The pilot’s inadequate preflight and in-flight fuel planning, which resulted in the total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
Note: The report republished here is from the NTSB and is printed verbatim and in its complete form.