NTSB Identification: CHI99LA065.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 17, 1999 in ST. CHARLES, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/07/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-260, registration: N40712
Injuries: 4 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 pilot said that he was returning to the airport where the flight originated because he encountered bad weather. When reaching the vicinity of the Lewis/Lockport Airport, Romeoville, Illinois, the pilot said that there were low ceilings over the airport which prohibited him from landing there. He then noted that he was running low on fuel. The pilot said that he was unsure of his position, but would attempt to find the Dupage County Airport, West Chicago, Illinois. When reaching the Dupage Airport area, the pilot said that the ceilings were low there too. The pilot said that he was just about to declare an emergency, when his airplane ran out of fuel. He spotted a large field and performed a forced landing. No fuel was observed in any of the airplane's four fuel tanks. Examination of the airplane revealed no mechanical anomalies.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. Also causal was the pilot's inadequate preflight/planning preparation which led to inadvertent flight into instrument meteorological conditions and him becoming lost/disoriented. Contributing to the accident were the low ceiling, his lack of recent experience in instrument flying and the snow covered field.

Full narrative available

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