NTSB Identification: NYC94LA114.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, July 06, 1994 in ELLISBURG, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/02/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-180, registration: N5839P
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.

WHILE IN CRUISE FLIGHT, THE PILOT SWITCHED FUEL TANKS TO BALANCE THE FUEL LOAD. AS SOON AS HE DID THIS, THE ENGINE BEGAN TO RUN ROUGHLY. HE RETURNED THE FUEL SELECTOR TO THE FIRST TANK AND THE ENGINE PERFORMED NORMALLY. HE ELECTED TO NOT TRY SWITCHING TANKS AGAIN. HIS FUEL SUPPLY WAS TOO LOW TO REACH THE DESTINATION AIRPORT WITH THE FUEL REMAINING IN THE ONE TANK. HE COULD NOT LOCATE ANOTHER AIRPORT AT WHICH TO LAND, SO HE ELECTED TO PERFORM A PRECAUTIONARY LANDING IN A FIELD. DURING THE LANDING ROLL, THE AIRPLANE ENCOUNTERED SOFT TERRAIN AND THE LANDING GEAR COLLAPSED, DAMAGING THE WING SPAR. THE AIRPLANE WAS NOT REGISTERED AND DID NOT HAVE AN AIRWORTHINESS CERTIFICATE. RECORDS INDICATED THAT THE LAST ANNUAL INSPECTION WAS PERFORMED ON JANUARY 6, 1992. THE PILOT WAS INTERVIEWED THE FIRST DAY, BUT HE DID NOT RESPOND TO REQUESTS FOR COMPLETION OF THE PILOT/OPERATOR AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT REPORT.

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

A FUEL OR FUEL SYSTEM PROBLEM THAT WAS PROBABLY RELATED TO THE PILOT/OWNER'S FAILURE TO ASSURE PROPER MAINTENANCE AND/OR INSPECTION OF THE AIRPLANE BEFORE FLIGHT. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: SOFT TERRAIN IN THE EMERGENCY LANDING AREA.

Full narrative available

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