NTSB Identification: NYC96LA079.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 27, 1996 in GROTON, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/10/1996
Aircraft: Grumman American AA-1C, registration: N9974U
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 purpose of the flight was for his passenger/neighbor to photograph a farm located approximately 8 miles northwest of Cortland. During the final pass over the farm, about 1100 feet above ground level, there was a total loss of engine power. The pilot performed emergency procedures during which he turned the auxiliary fuel pump on, changed the fuel selector valve from the right tank to the left fuel tank, and used the primer. The engine momentarily started followed by another loss of power. The pilot performed a forced landing in an open field. During the forced landing, the airplane collided with bails of hay. Postaccident examination revealed no mechanical malfunctions. The left fuel tank was half full, and the right tank had residual fuel.

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

the pilot's inadequate fuel management, and his improper use of the fuel selector valve, which resulted in fuel starvation and the subsequent collision with bails of hay during the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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