NTSB Identification: FTW97LA080.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 12, 1997 in BATON ROUGE, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N33037
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 departed on an IFR flight plan with a fuel endurance of 5 hours and 24 minutes and with an estimated time en route of 4 hours and 23 minutes. The airplane ran out of fuel after 5 hours and 26 minutes of flight. The pilot reported to ATC that the airplane ran out of fuel 10 miles east of his destination. ATC provided a vector direct to the airport; however, the airplane was not able to reach the airport and landed on a four-lane road approximately 4 miles southeast of the airport. The airplane contacted a power line prior to touching down on the highway. The pilot stated that during the landing roll, the right main landing gear was torn off after impacting the median curb and the right wing sustained structural damage after impacting a residential mail box. Examination of the airplane's fuel system revealed that the fuel selector was in the left tank position and the right wing tank was found empty; however, the tank was compromised. The left wing fuel cell contained 1 cup of fuel.

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

fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's failure to refuel. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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