The pilot of the experimental, amateur-built Marquart MA-5 reported that he fueled the airplane four days prior to the long cross-country flight and entered 24 gallons of useable fuel into his fuel computer prior to takeoff.
While en route, he switched from the main fuel tank to the wing fuel tank and the engine lost all power. He switched back to the main fuel tank and the engine regained power.
He had not used the wing fuel tank for some time and suspected fuel contamination in that tank.
However, he forgot to reset his fuel computer from 24 gallons to 16 gallons of useable fuel to account for the eight gallons in the wing tank that would not be available.
During final approach to the airport in Waycross, Georgia, at low altitude, the engine lost all power due to fuel starvation.
During the forced landing, the airplane became entangled in powerlines.
Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed substantial damage to the left wing.
The pilot added that, in retrospect, he should have done a pre-takeoff run-up on the wing tank as he had not used that tank in a while.
Additionally, he told investigators he should have made an intermediate fuel stop once he realized that he would not be able to use the fuel in his wing tank.
The reason for the failure of fuel to feed from the wing tank was not determined.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s inadequate fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power on approach due to fuel starvation.
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This September 2021 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.