NTSB Identification: SEA95LA115.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, June 06, 1995 in MEDFORD, OR
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/24/1995
Aircraft: PIPER J3C-65, registration: N28087
Injuries: 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.

THE PILOT REPORTED THAT HE HAD TAKEN OFF WITH THE NOSE FUEL TANK FULL, HOWEVER, AFTER 15 MINUTES OF FLIGHT, THE PILOT NOTED THAT THE FUEL FLOAT INDICATOR READ ONE-THIRD OF A TANK. A SHORT TIME LATER, THE INDICATOR READ EMPTY. THE PILOT EXECUTED A PRECAUTIONARY LANDING TO AN OPEN FIELD. DURING THE LANDING ROLL IN TALL ALFALFA, THE AIRPLANE NOSED OVER. DURING AN INSPECTION OF THE FUEL SYSTEM, IT WAS FOUND THAT A WIRE WAS BENT APPROXIMATELY FOUR INCHES ABOVE THE FLOAT AND WAS CREATING A DRAG THROUGH THE CAP. THIS BENT WIRE CREATED AN ERRONEOUS FUEL QUANTITY INDICATION WHEN THE FUEL QUANTITY WAS ACTUALLY LESS.

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

AN UNRELIABLE FUEL QUANTITY GAGE AND AN INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT. THE TALL VEGETATION IN THE LANDING AREA WAS A FACTOR.

Full narrative available

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