NTSB Identification: ATL95LA056.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 03, 1995 in CHARLESTON, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/23/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N7498R
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 PILOT STATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS FUELED PRIOR TO HIS DEPARTURE. ABOUT 2 HOURS AFTER DEPARTURE, THE PILOT REPORTED THAT THE AIRCRAFT ENGINE BEGAN TO RUN ROUGH. HE STATED THAT THE FUEL PRESSURE DROPPED, AND HE SWITCHED FUEL TANKS. WHILE ATTEMPTING TO CORRECT THE PROBLEM, THE AIRCRAFT ENGINE STOPPED PRODUCING POWER, AND THE PILOT WAS FORCED TO ATTEMPT AN EMERGENCY LANDING ON A HIGHWAY. DURING THE LANDING ATTEMPT, THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK TREES, AND CRASHED INTO THE TERRAIN. EXAMINATION OF THE AIRCRAFT FUEL SELECTOR VALVE REVEALED THAT THE DETENT WASHER WAS BROKEN, AND THAT 1/4 OF THE WASHER WAS MISSING. THERE WAS NO NOTICEABLE DETENT, THE SELECTOR ROTATED FREELY, AND WAS EASILY MOVED TO AN IN-BETWEEN TANKS OR 'OFF' POSITION.

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

The failure of the position washer in the fuel selector valve, which resulted in the fuel starvation of the engine.

Full narrative available

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