NTSB Identification: FTW97LA087.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 23, 1997 in SULPHUR, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N15754
Injuries: 1 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.

According to law enforcement personnel that responded to the accident, the pilot stated that he had flown to the Sulphur Municipal Airport to practice a landing and a takeoff prior to returning to Davis, where the pilot anticipated a crosswind landing. The pilot reported that the airplane was on initial takeoff climb from runway 17, at an estimated altitude of 400 to 500 feet AGL, when the engine 'coughed a couple of times and quit.' The pilot further stated that he switched the fuel selector to the left tank, but he was unable to restore engine power. The airplane landed in a confined field approximately one mile west of the airport. Examination of the wreckage by the FAA inspector revealed that the carburetor bowl and the right wing fuel tank were empty, while the left fuel tank contained 18 to 20 gallons of fuel. The airplane's checklist called for the fuel selector to be in the fullest tank prior to takeoff.

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

The loss of engine power due to fuel starvation and the pilot's improper use of the fuel tank selector. Factors were the pilot's failure to follow the checklist and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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