NTSB Identification: NYC97LA023.
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Accident occurred Saturday, November 30, 1996 in LONG POND, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/30/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N4839F
Injuries: 3 Serious,1 Minor.

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 was en route at night in instrument meteorological conditions at 8000 feet, when he reported that fuel exhaustion had occurred and the engine had lost power. He made a forced landing in a wooded area, and the occupants remained with the airplane overnight. They were rescued the next morning by search personnel, aided by the signal from the emergency locator beacon of the airplane. The accident occurred on the return leg of a round trip flight. The pilot last refueled the aircraft before starting the trip. The aircraft was subsequently operated about 4.2 hours (2.2 hours on the accident leg) when the loss of power occurred. Examination of the airplane revealed the fuel tanks were empty. The pilot indicated that he checked the fuel level during the preflight and felt he had enough to complete the flight.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning/preparation and improper inflight planning/decision, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the loss of engine power, due to an inadequate supply of fuel. Darkness and trees in the emergency landing area were related factors.

Full narrative available

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