NTSB Identification: ANC96LA157.
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Accident occurred Monday, September 16, 1996 in ANCHORAGE, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N7658H
Injuries: 2 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.

The pilot stated that he had approximately 4.5 hours of fuel on board. He indicated that he tried to conserve fuel during his flight by operating the airplane at a reduced power setting, because he knew that the flight time would be close to the airplane's fuel flight time limits. The engine began to sputter as he was crossing Knik Arm. He applied carburetor heat and noted a small improvement in engine RPM. The engine then lost all power. The pilot stated he attempted to land on water, but was unable to reach the water. He landed on mud flats, and the right float struck a gully during the landing. The float strut collapsed, and the airplane dragged the right wing and elevator. During repair of the airplane after the accident, a mechanic found that the fuel sight tubes would show a greater quantity of fuel than was available.

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

the pilot's improper planning/decision, which resulted in loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. A factor associated with the accident was: the erroneous (false) indication of the fuel sight tubes.

Full narrative available

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