The private pilot was conducting a cross-country flight in a Diamond DA20-C1 without the owner’s permission.
While en route, he reported to air traffic controllers that the engine had lost power and that he did not think he would be able to glide to the destination airport.
He also said that it was dark and that he could not see anything below him.
He made a forced landing in a field near Waskom, Texas, which was 6.9 miles east of his destination. The forced landing resulted in substantial damage to the airplane. No fuel was found in the fuel tanks.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to operate the airplane without the owner’s permission and his lack of preflight planning, which resulted a total loss of engine power due fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: CEN16LA018
This October 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.