NTSB Identification: LAX96LA195.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 12, 1996 in ADELANTO, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/20/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-235, registration: N6844Z
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.

During initial climb at 700 feet above ground level, the tow pilot experienced a total loss of engine power while towing a glider. The pilot released the glider which landed uneventfully. The tow pilot reported that he was unable to return to the departure airstrip, so he made a forced landing on a nearby dirt road. During rollout, the airplane collided with bushes and was substantially damaged. The pilot further indicated his airplane's engine quit because the fuel tank was empty. The pilot reported that the fuel tank gauge had malfunctioned and had a tendency to hang up.

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

fuel exhaustion as a result of an improper preflight inspection and operating with a known malfunctioning fuel gauge.

Full narrative available

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