According to the pilot, the Aeronca 65 was fueled the day prior to the accident and flown 246 miles.
Prior to the accident flight, which was 213 miles, he added approximately two gallons of fuel to the main fuel tanks, which provided about 13 total gallons of fuel on board for the flight.
While enroute to the intended destination the pilot made an unexpected landing near Thomaston, Ga., to accommodate the needs of a passenger and was on the ground for about eight minutes.
The remaining portion of the flight was uneventful until approximately 12 miles from the destination airport when the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power.
The pilot attempted to land on a nearby road, however, the airplane hit tree tops and came to rest in a nose-down attitude, which resulted in substantial damage to the fuselage and wings.
According to a report from the Sheriff’s Department, the passenger stated “they ran out of fuel.”
Post-accident examination revealed about one quart of fuel remained in the fuel system.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s inadequate pre-flight planning and in-flight monitoring of the fuel level, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: ERA13CA435
This August 2013 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.