According to the Champion 7GC pilot, shortly after takeoff and about 500′ above ground level, the engine lost power. He attempted to restart the engine but was unsuccessful.
He made a forced landing in a field near Palmer, Alaska. The airplane landed hard and hit a telephone pole.
The pilot reported to the FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (ASI) that he did not preflight the airplane or check the fuel level before departure and that there should have been fuel in the tanks from the last flight in June 2016, three months before the accident.
He reported to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-In-Charge (IIC) who received the initial notification that “he ran the airplane out of gas.”
He further reported that there were no mechanical malfunctions or anomalies with the airframe or engine that would have prevented normal operation.
The airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings.
The NTSB IIC attempted to contact the pilot on multiple occasions but was informed by the FAA ASI that the pilot was out of the country for the winter.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadequate preflight inspection and failure to assess the airplane’s fuel quantity before departure, which resulted in fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: GAA16CA486
This September 2016 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.