NTSB Identification: MIA96LA141.
The docket is stored in the Docket Management System (DMS). Please contact Records Management Division
Accident occurred Thursday, May 16, 1996 in TALLAHASSEE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N9239B
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.

After about 2 hours of flight time, the pilot was descending from about 1500' to about 1200' to remain in VFR conditions, when the engine lost power. Attempts to restore engine power were unsuccessful, and he was forced to land in a wooded area, where the airplane was damaged. The pilot reported that he had positioned the fuel selector to the right tank before flight and had not repositioned it until the loss of power occurred. Examination of the airplane revealed that the left wing fuel tank was nearly full and that the right wing fuel tank contained less than 6 ounces of fuel. Also, the fuel line to the carburetor was dry, and the gascolator was drained and found to contain only 10 cc's of fuel. No fuel leakage was noted from the right wing fuel tank.

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

the pilot's mismanagement of fuel, by failing to reposition the fuel selector to the left tank after fuel was used from the right tank, which resulted in fuel starvation, loss of engine power, and a forced landing. A factor relating to the accident was: the lack of suitable terrain for an emergency landing.

Full narrative available

Index for May1996 | Index of months