NTSB Identification: ATL99LA037.
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Accident occurred Saturday, January 02, 1999 in COLBERT, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/25/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N7295P
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The preflight inspection of the fuel tanks by the pilot revealed the tanks were filled to the bottom of the filler neck, which the pilot believed was appropriately full. After starting the engine, fuel began leaking from the fuel sump drain hose. The pilot operated the spring loaded valve handle inside the airplane which apparently stopped the leak. Shortly after departing, the engine began running rough upon which the pilot began a deviation to another airport. During this time, the engine began running smoothly whereupon the pilot continued to his initial destination. During descent, the engine began running rough and the pilot decided the tanks had been exhausted. The pilot performed a forced landing causing substantial damage. The airplane cruising endurance based on 75% power and 90 gallons of fuel on board is 5.4 hours. However, the usable fuel capacity on this airplane when the fuel tanks are filled to the bottom of the filler necks is approximately 80 gallons. The actual flight time of this aircraft was 5.55 hours. A Federal Aviation Administration inspector who examined the airplane noted only residual fuel was found in the selector valve and no leaks were found in the fuel system.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

Inadequate planning/decision by the pilot, which resulted in fuel exhaustion due to an inadequate supply of fuel.

Full narrative available

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