NTSB Identification: FTW95LA131.
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Accident occurred Saturday, February 25, 1995 in CARLSBAD, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/23/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N5613P
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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.

AFTER 4 HOURS OF DARK NIGHT CROSS COUNTRY FLIGHT, THE ENGINE LOST POWER AND THE PILOT LANDED THE AIRPLANE GEAR UP IN A FIELD. EN ROUTE, THE PILOT NOTED THE FUEL GAUGES READING 'LOWER THAN NORMAL,' BUT ELECTED TO CONTINUE TO THE DESTINATION AS HIS 'CALCULATIONS SHOWED WE COULD MAKE IT WITH FUEL TO SPARE.' THE AIRCRAFT WAS REFUELED PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AND THE PILOT ESTIMATED A TIME EN ROUTE OF 4.1 HOURS WITH A TOTAL OF 5.3 HOURS OF FUEL ON BOARD. FOLLOWING THE FORCED LANDING, THE PILOT EXAMINED 'THE GASCOLATOR AND, FINDING NO FUEL IN THE BOWL, CONCLUDED THE QUICK DRAIN HAD BEEN LEAKING SINCE HE CHECKED THE FUEL PRIOR TO DEPARTURE.'

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

FUEL EXHAUSTION ENGINE POWER LOSS DUE TO A LEAK IN THE FUEL SYSTEM. FACTORS WERE DARK NIGHT CONDITIONS AND THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR THE FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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