NTSB Identification: LAX94FA198.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 20, 1994 in SANTA MONICA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/14/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-301T, registration: N8171G
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

AFTER A CROSS-COUNTRY INTERMEDIATE STOP, THE PILOT DEPARTED FOR THE LAST PORTION OF HIS FLIGHT. JUST AFTER LIFT-OFF, WITNESSES HEARD THE ENGINE SPUTTER SEVERAL TIMES AND THEN QUIT. THE PILOT BEGAN A 180-DEGREE RIGHT TURN AND ATTAINED AN ALTITUDE OF BETWEEN 300 AND 400 FEET. THE AIRPLANE THEN DESCENDED IN A NOSE-DOWN ATTITUDE AND STRUCK A UTILITY POLE AND A RESIDENTIAL GARAGE. A POSTCRASH FIRE BEGAN AT THE RIGHT WING AND PROGRESSED ALONG THE GROUND TOWARD THE LEFT WING. THE RIGHT WING WAS DESTROYED. THE UNDERSIDE OF THE LEFT WING WAS PUNCTURED AT THE INBOARD FUEL TANK; HOWEVER, THE LEFT WING RECEIVED NO CHARRING OR PAINT BLISTERING, ONLY SOOTING PRIMARILY ON THE UNDERSIDE OF THE WING. THE FUEL SELECTOR WAS POSITIONED ON THE LEFT TANK. SIXTEEN OUNCES OF FUEL WERE RECOVERED FROM THE LEFT WING. ABOUT 1 GALLON OF FUEL WAS RECOVERED FROM THE RIGHT WING.

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

fuel starvation resulting from the failure of the pilot to select a tank containing fuel, and his failure to maintain adequate airspeed while maneuvering for a forced landing which resulted in an inadvertent stall.

Full narrative available

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