The pilot reported that he had filled the Rans S6S fuel tanks the day before the cross-country flight, but did not visually check the fuel level in the tanks during the preflight inspection.
He estimated the flight would take about 1.5 hours, and full fuel tanks would have given him more than three hours of flight time.
He was 10 miles from his destination when the engine sputtered and lost power and he made an off-airport landing near Oldtown, Maryland.
He saw trees in front of him and attempted a left turn to avoid the trees and hit terrain. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage.
The pilot estimated about a gallon of fuel was drained from the wing fuel tanks after the accident and the unusable fuel for the airplane is 1.25 gallons.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to visually inspect the fuel level during the preflight inspection, which resulted in fuel starvation and a subsequent off-field landing and impacted terrain.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA072
This November 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.