The private pilot had recently completed building the Zenith CH-750 and had flown it about 10 hours.
During that time, the plane had experienced fuel flow issues, with the fuel not flowing evenly from the wing tanks.
Fuel was supplied to the engine from both tanks via gravity; the tanks were not individually selectable.
To remedy the uneven fuel flows, the kit manufacturer suggested the pilot add snorkels to each vented fuel tank cap. He did, however this did not correct the uneven fuel flow.
He tried several combinations before closing the vented caps completely and using only snorkels, which was the configuration of the fuel system on the day of the accident.
He departed on the accident flight with seven gallons of fuel in one tank and eight gallons in the other. He flew for about an hour, and, while returning to the airport, he noted that the left fuel tank gauge was reading low and that the right fuel tank gauge was reading high.
The engine subsequently experienced a total loss of power and the pilot performed an emergency landing in a field short of the runway in Jennings, Louisiana.
Although the loss of engine power is consistent with fuel starvation, it could not be determined why the fuel in the right tank failed to supply the engine, nor could the underlying reason for the uneven fuel flow be determined based on the information available.
Probable cause: A failure of the right fuel tank to supply fuel to the engine for reasons that could not be determined, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.
NTSB Identification: CEN17LA092
This January 2017 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.