NTSB Identification: ATL96FA090.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 06, 1996 in LAWRENCEVILLE, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/23/1996
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N8818J
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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.

The pilot filed and activated an IFR flight plan. After about 3.2 hours of flight, while descending for a landing approach, the engine lost power. During a subsequent forced landing, the airplane hit an embankment and was damaged. Examination of the airplane revealed two gallons of fuel in the right wing. The left wing fuel line was separated at the wing root with no evidence of fuel spillage at the accident site, and the fuel selector was found in the left wing fuel tank position. The mixture was found in the rich position, the magneto switch was on 'both,' and the flaps were found retracted. The engine manual indicated that at 2,400 rpm, full throttle, and mixture rich, the engine would consume 15 gallons per hour. With that rate of fuel consumption, the engine would have consumed 48 gallons of fuel during the 3.2 hour flight. The airplane's usable fuel capacity was 48 gallons.

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

The pilot's inadequate fuel consumption calculations that resulted in fuel exhaustion. A factor was the pilot's failure to follow the emergency procedure for a forced landing, in that the flaps were not extended.

Full narrative available

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