NTSB Identification: MIA96FA116.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 14, 1996 in KISSIMMEE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-151, registration: N6902F
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.
NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
Before departing on a cross-country flight, the airplane was 'topped off' with 40 gallons of fuel. However, during arrival at the destination, when it was on base leg for landing, the engine began running rough and lost power. The pilot said she could not recall details about the accident, but she wrote , '[I] went through [the] emergency procedures, and...put the fuel pump on, switched the fuel selector valve to the other tank....' During a forced landing, the airplane struck a tree and crashed in a residential area about 2,000' short of the runway. The flight was 4 hours and 20 minutes (4.3) in duration. Based on her flight planning, the pilot believed that she had '6 hours' of fuel available for the flight. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right tank, and the fuel boost pump was found in the 'OFF' position. About 1 pint of fuel was drained from the right fuel tank; about four gallons of fuel were drained from the left fuel tank. Total fuel capacity of the airplane was 50 gallons, of which, 48 gallons were considered to be usable fuel. No fuel spillage was noted at the crash site, and no breaches were found throughout the fuel system. Examination of the engine and fuel system did not reveal any discrepancies that would have resulted in loss of engine power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper planning/decision, which resulted in fuel starvation and a forced landing in a residential area. A factor relating to the accident was: the inaccuracy of the expected fuel consumption. Full narrative available
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