The private pilot reported that during cruise flight at an altitude of about 800 feet above ground level, the engine lost power.
Despite his attempts, he could not restart the engine and initiated a landing in the open desert near Lake Havasu, Arizona. During the landing roll, the aircraft hit a large boulder.
The pilot stated that the examination of the Cosmos trike after the accident revealed that he had ran out of gas.
The pilot added that the trike was not equipped with a fuel quantity gauge, and that the only way to verify the fuel level was visually looking into the fuel tank. Additionally, he thought he had a full tank of gas prior to takeoff.
The trike sustained substantial damage to the forward upright wing support tubes.
The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical failures or malfunctions with the trike that would have precluded normal operation.
Probable Cause: The total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, which resulted from the pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel inspection.
This December 2019 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.