During a local flight, the pilot reported that the engine on his Sonex quit while maneuvering about 1,200 feet above ground level.
The pilot felt his only option was to land in a soybean field near Wolcottville, Indiana. He attempted to fly as slow as possible prior to touchdown. After rolling about 50 feet in the field the airplane nosed over.
The pilot reported that for the majority of the 30-minute flight, he was flying with the fuel mixture full rich. He stated that he did not depart with full fuel, and must have been burning fuel at a higher rate than he originally anticipated.
According to an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector, during a post-accident examination, the airplane’s fuel tanks were empty and no fuel was found at the tank sumps.
The vertical stabilizer and left wing sustained substantial damage and the pilot sustained minor injuries.
Probable cause: The pilot’s improper fuel planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, a forced off-airport landing, and nose over.
NTSB Identification: GAA15CA234
This August 2015 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.