NTSB Identification: CHI95LA303.
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Accident occurred Friday, September 01, 1995 in SAINT JAMES, MI
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/21/1996
Aircraft: GRUMMAN AA-5, registration: N9528L
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 REPORTED THAT THE LEFT FUEL GAGE WAS NOT WORKING AND BOTH FUEL TANKS WERE FULL PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. HE DID NOT LEAN THE ENGINE DURING THE 2.7 HOUR FLIGHT. THE PILOT INITIATED A GO-AROUND DURING AN ATTEMPTED LANDING. WHEN THE AIRPLANE WAS AT AN ALTITUDE OF ABOUT 50 FEET, THE ENGINE LOST POWER. THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO LAND THE AIRPLANE ON THE REMAINING RUNWAY. THE AIRPLANE DEPARTED THE RUNWAY AT THE DEPARTURE END AND 'SLID INTO THE TREES.' EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE REVEALED NO USABLE FUEL REMAINED IN THE FUEL TANKS AND THE FUEL LINES WERE EMPTY. ABOUT 3/8 INCH OF FUEL REMAINED IN THE CARBURETOR BOWL. A FUEL LINE FITTING WAS LEAKING NEAR THE FUEL PUMP.

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

the pilot's operation of the airplane with an inoperative fuel gage and the leaking fuel line fitting, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, loss of engine power, and a forced landing. The inoperative fuel gage was a related factor.

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