NTSB Identification: MIA95FA089.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 18, 1995 in STALEY, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/23/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-150, registration: N7545D
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.

A witness stated he heard a change in engine noise from an airplane flying towards his location. He looked up and saw the airplane descending in a dive estimated at a 45-degree nose-down attitude. The airplane began at right spiraling turn at treetop level, when the nose pitched down vertically, the airplane disappeared from view below the tree line. Just before the airplane collided with the ground, the engine noise quit completely. Examination of airframe, flight controls, engine assembly and accessories revealed no evidence of a precrash failure or malfunction. Both fuel tanks were ruptured. There was no evidence of damage to the vegetation consistent with fuel spillage, and there was no odor of fuel present at the crash site.

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

The pilot's failure to maintain airspeed (VSO) while maneuvering during a forced landing, resulting in an in-flight loss of control (inadvertent stall), and subsequent in flight collision with terrain. Contributing to the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation to ensure there was adequate fuel available for the flight, resulting in a total loss of engine power from fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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