NTSB Identification: LAX95LA233.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 01, 1995 in CARMEL VALLEY, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/30/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-161, registration: N8399T
Injuries: 2 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

WHILE IN THE INITIAL TAKEOFF CLIMB FOR A 10-MILE FLIGHT TO ANOTHER AIRPORT, THE PILOT PERCEIVED A LOSS OF ENGINE POWER AND MANEUVERED TO RETURN TO THE AIRPORT. THE AIRCRAFT HAD INSUFFICIENT ALTITUDE TO REACH THE RUNWAY AND STRUCK POWER LINES WHILE TURNING TOWARDS THE AIRPORT. RESPONDING FIRE DEPARTMENT PERSONNEL REPORTED THAT THE RIGHT WING CONTAINED NO FUEL AND THE LEFT TANK CONTAINED VERY LITTLE FUEL. AN FAA INSPECTOR EXAMINED THE AIRCRAFT AND REPORTED THAT THE RIGHT WING FUEL TANK CONTAINED LESS THAN 1 GALLON, AND THE LEFT TANK CONTAINED ABOUT 5 GALLONS. THE FUEL SELECTOR WAS POSITIONED BETWEEN THE LEFT AND RIGHT TANKS. HE ALSO REPORTED THAT NO FUEL WAS AVAILABLE AT THE CARMEL VALLEY AIRPORT.

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

fuel starvation due to the pilot's inadequate preflight preparation in that he failed to position the fuel selector to a tank known to contain fuel.

Full narrative available

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