The pilot in command estimated that there were approximately 26 gallons of fuel in the tanks before the flight commenced. They intended to conduct exercises in the training area for about 20 minutes, followed by a series of circuits and landings. Shortly after takeoff for the fifth circuit, the engine failed. The pilot in command took control, selected the landing gear down, and attempted to hold the aircraft off the ground until the gear had extended. However, touchdown occurred with the gear only partially extended and the aircraft slid to a halt on the runway. The aircraft had not been refuelled following a flight of 4.8 hours duration. The estimate of the fuel remaining onboard the aircraft was based on the reading from a fuel metre that subsequently proved to be unserviceable. When the engine failed, due to fuel exhaustion, the aircraft had been airborne for 1.1 hours and the exhaustion of the fuel supply was consistent with the flight time since the last refuel.