NTSB Identification: MIA95LA231.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 23, 1995 in ST. AUGUSTINE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/1995
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32-260, registration: N40971
Injuries: 2 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 FLIGHT DEPARTED WITH FULL FUEL TANKS AND THE PILOT STATED THAT ABOUT 1 HOUR AFTER TAKEOFF HE REPOSITIONED THE FUEL SELECTOR FROM THE RIGHT TANK TO THE LEFT TANK. THE FLIGHT CONTINUED, ENTERED THE TRAFFIC PATTERN TO LAND, AND THE PILOT EXTENDED THE DOWNWIND LEG DUE TO TRAFFIC. THE FLIGHT THEN TURNED LEFT BASE AND THE ENGINE FAILED TO RESPOND TO THROTTLE INPUT. THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES DURING THE FORCED LANDING. THE AIRPLANE WAS RECOVERED AND BOTH FUEL TANKS WERE FOUND TO BE RUPTURED. THE FUEL SELECTOR WAS FOUND POSITIONED TO THE RIGHT FUEL TANK. THE FUEL LINE TO THE INLET OF THE CARBURETOR AND CARBURETOR BOWL WERE DRAINED AND CONTAINED ABOUT 1-2 OUNCES OF FUEL EACH. NO FUEL CONTAMINATION NOR OBSTRUCTIONS OF THE FUEL SUPPLY SYSTEM WERE NOTED. AN UNDAMAGED PROPELLER WAS INSTALLED AS WELL AS AN AUXILIARY FUEL TANK AND THE ENGINE WAS STARTED AND FOUND TO OPERATE NORMALLY.

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

FUEL STARVATION FOR UNDETERMINED REASONS RESULTING IN THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER. CONTRIBUTING TO THE ACCIDENT WAS UNSUITABLE TERRAIN ENCOUNTERED DURING THE FORCED LANDING.

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