NTSB Identification: BFO94LA053.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 28, 1994 in STOW, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24- 260, registration: N9322P
Injuries: 2 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 PRIVATE PILOT AND A PASSENGER WERE TAKING OFF ON RUNWAY 3 DURING A DARK NIGHT WHEN THE ENGINE LOST POWER AT 100 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. THE PILOT STATED THAT DUE TO INSUFFICIENT ALTITUDE HE WAS UNABLE TO RESTART THE ENGINE. THE AIRPLANE IMPACTED TREES IN A WOODED AREA. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT HE HAD FLOWN THE AIRPLANE EARLIER FOR ABOUT AN HOUR ON THE RIGHT AUXILIARY TANK. HE STATED THAT HE LANDED AND PICKED UP A PASSENGER. THE PILOT STATED THAT HE COMPLETED AN ABBREVIATED CHECKLIST WHICH INCLUDED CHECKING THE POSITION OF THE FUEL PUMP AND FUEL SELECTOR. HE STATED THAT HE THOUGHT THE FUEL SELECTOR WAS ON 'A MAIN TANK.' AN FAA AVIATION SAFETY INSPECTOR WHO EXAMINED THE AIRPLANE AFTER THE ACCIDENT FOUND THE FUEL SELECTOR ON THE RIGHT AUXILIARY FUEL TANK WHICH WAS EMPTY. THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THERE WAS NO MECHANICAL MALFUNCTION AND THE ACCIDENT COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED IF A MORE DELIBERATE CHECK OF THE STATUS OF THE FUEL SELECTOR WAS ACCOMPLISHED.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE CHECKLIST WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL STARVATION AND SUBSEQUENT LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN TO COMPLETE A FORCED LANDING WAS A FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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