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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 216514
Last updated: 6 October 2019
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Time:12:45 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic PTS1 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Pitts S-1S Special
Registration: G-MAVK
C/n / msn: 4010
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Minor
Location:near Towcester, Northamptonshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Turweston Airport (EGBT)
Destination airport:Northampton Airport (ORM/EGBK)
Pilot declared aircraft had sustained an engine failure. Aircraft put down in a field and ended up in a hedge. Pilot uninjured. N107JK was built in 1991, exported to Iceland in 2011 as TF-WTF, and currently resides in the UK as G-MAVK.

UPDATE: The official AAIB report into the accident was published 9 May 2019, and the following is an excerpt from it...

"Pitts S-1S Pitts Special, G-MAVK
Forced landing due to fuel exhaustion, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, 21 October 2018.

Prior to departure, the pilot checked the quantity of fuel on-board using the sight gauge in the cockpit and judged that the tank was approximately half full. In his opinion this was sufficient for the short trip to Sywell and once the weather conditions became suitable he took off. The pilot flew the aircraft out of the Turweston circuit at full power and then throttled back ready to trim the aircraft for cruise at 140 mph.

He felt the engine losing power and so advanced the throttle. When the engine did not respond, he applied full throttle but there was still no response. He confirmed the fuel pressure was normal (approximately 12 psi) and then cycled the mixture control, which produced a short burst of power after which the engine stopped. The pilot selected a field to land in but there was insufficient distance to complete the landing and the aircraft struck a hedge at the far end and came to a halt.

The impact damaged the wings, but the pilot was able to exit the aircraft unharmed.

On a tailwheel aircraft such as the Pitts Special, the aircraft pitch attitude will affect the level of fuel shown in the sight gauge between level flight and the attitude on the ground. To mitigate this effect, sight gauges are usually dual-calibrated with on-ground and in-flight markings. At the time of the accident there were no markings to indicate the fuel quantity on G-MAVK and so the pilot could not accurately manage the on board fuel quantity. This led to the engine stopping in flight due to fuel exhaustion. Although it has subsequently been discovered that a fuel union on the carburettor was loose, it is not possible to determine whether this was due to the accident or was a pre-existing defect."


1. AAIB Final Report:
3. G-MAVK on 16-07-2017:

Pitts S-1S Special G-MAVK in the bushes near Towcaster, Northamptonshire 21 October 2018 (lower right picture)

Revision history:

21-Oct-2018 19:23 RG1967 Added
22-Oct-2018 09:36 aerobod Updated [Registration, Location, Nature, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
22-Oct-2018 09:37 harro Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Other fatalities]
23-Oct-2018 22:18 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Damage, Narrative]
10-May-2019 00:00 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
10-May-2019 00:37 Dr. John Smith Updated [Embed code]

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