NTSB Identification: SEA95FA029.
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Accident occurred Saturday, December 10, 1994 in SEATTLE, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/24/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-235, registration: N2VZ
Injuries: 2 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.

THE AIRCRAFT DITCHED IN PUGET SOUND DURING A FORCED LANDING. THE AIRCRAFT HAD FLOWN FOR A LITTLE OVER FIVE HOURS AND WAS REPORTED BY WITNESSES TO HAVE BEEN HEAVILY LOADED WHEN IT WAS OBSERVED TAXIING BEFORE TAKEOFF. THE PILOT'S FIRST ATTEMPT AT AN APPROACH AT HIS DESTINATION WAS UNSECCESSFUL, AND HE WAS BEING VECTORED FOR A SECOND ATTEMPT WHEN HE REPORTED THE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. ACCORDING TO PERFORMANCE FIGURES PROVIDED BY THE PREVIOUS OWNER, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN LESS THAN FIVE GALLONS OF FUEL DISTRIBUTED BETWEEN THE AIRCRAFT'S FOUR TANKS AT THE TIME OF THE LOSS OF POWER. THE PILOT REPORTED TO ATC THAT HE HAD SWITCHED FUEL TANKS AND TURNED ON THE FUEL BOOST PUMP, BUT THE ENGINE APPARENTLY DID NOT REGAIN POWER, AND THE AIRCRAFT WAS DITCHED IN THE WATERS OF PUGET SOUND. THE PILOT'S BODY WAS RECOVERED THE DAY AFTER THE ACCIDENT; THE PASSENGER'S BODY AND THE AIRCRAFT WERE NOT RECOVERED.

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

FUEL EXHAUSTION, AND THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO REFUEL EN ROUTE. FACTORS INCLUDE A DARK NIGHT AND DITCHING IN THE WATERS OF PUGET SOUND.

Full narrative available

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