NTSB Identification: CHI97LA052.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 12, 1997 in FRANKLIN, MN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2000
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N6495P
Injuries: 3 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 cruise flight on a bright night the pilot said the airplane '...experienced a noticeable drop in manifold pressure... the engine lost power and began to backfire... different power settings didn't help.' The pilot said the inside of the airplane's windshield frosted up after the engine lost power. He said he used the side window and landing lights as an aid for landing. According to the pilot he decided to land in a field next to the road on which he was going to land because of powerlines. The on-scene investigation revealed no fuel in the fuel tanks or electric fuel pump. The engine was test run to the manufacturer's specifications once fuel was added to the airplane.

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

The pilot's inadequate inflight planning and his fuel mismanagement, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the loss of engine power. A contributing factor with this accident was a frost blocked cockpit windshield.

Full narrative available

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