NTSB Identification: FTW96LA105.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 19, 1996 in FALFURRIAS, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-38-112, registration: N598Z
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 student pilot departed Brownsville, Texas for a solo cross-country flight that took him to Corpus Christi, Texas for 'touch and go's', and then to Rockport, Texas for a full-stop landing. The aircraft was refueled in Rockport and the flight continued to Alice, Texas for a full-stop landing. Approximately 25 minutes into the final leg of the cross-country flight from Alice to Brownsville, the engine lost power. When emergency procedures to restore engine power were unsuccessful, a forced landing was made into a field with soft soil. Examination of the aircraft revealed that the left fuel tank was empty and the right tank was full. The fuel selector was found in the left position.

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

fuel starvation due to the pilot's improper positioning of the fuel selector. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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