June 25, 2009, Woodbine, N.J., Pitts S-2B


The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing at 1815 Eastern time; the private pilot received serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed. The accident airplane and another airplane (an Extra 300L) were a flight of two flying to an aerobatic competition in Wildwood, N.J.

The Extra 300L pilot and the Pitts pilot met near Stow, Mass., at 3000 feet, in “loose formation” for the flight to Wildwood. When approximately 40 miles north of Wildwood, the two aircraft initiated a descent from 8500 to 3000 feet. The Extra 300L pilot noticed the accident airplane slow down, descend and fly toward a nearby airport. Approximately one mile from the divert airport, the accident pilot stated over the radio, “Im not going to make it,” and impacted trees.

The pilot of the Extra 300L landed and drove to the accident site. When he arrived, he asked the accident pilot if he “ran out of fuel.” The accident pilot responded, “I think so.” The upper wing fuel tank contained approximately 3-5 gallons of fuel, and no fuel was observed in the lower wing (main) fuel tank. The fuel lines from the fuel servo contained “residual fuel.” The fuel selector was observed in the “on” position. The valve transferring fuel from the upper wing fuel tank to the lower wing (main) fuel tank was in the “off” position.


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