Aircraft: Lancair Legacy Injuries: 2 Fatal. Location: Richlands, N.C. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The airplane had two fuel tanks, each capable of holding 33.5 gallons of fuel. Before departing on the last leg of a long cross-country flight, the pilot put 46.1 gallons fuel into the aircraft.
The airplane had been flying for three hours and 39 minutes when the pilot declared an emergency due to low fuel pressure. The controller vectored the flight to the nearest airport. The Lancair crashed in a field three miles from the runway.
Examination of the wreckage did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions.
The fuel selector valve was found positioned to the left main fuel tank, which was empty. The right tank contained approximately 20 gallons of fuel. The investigation could not determine why the pilot did not position the fuel selector handle to the right main fuel tank.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper in-flight fuel management, which resulted in a loss of engine power.
NTSB Identification: ERA11FA285
This May 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.