NTSB Identification: FTW97LA095.
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Accident occurred Thursday, January 30, 1997 in BOSWELL, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-38-112, registration: N2493A
Injuries: 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.
According to the student pilot and the operator of the airplane, the student was on a solo cross country flight from Rockwall, Texas, to Bonham, Texas, with an intermediate stop in Paris, Texas. During the flight from Rockwall to Paris, the student did not locate his destination airport. After trying to find the airport for approximately 20 minutes, he continued on toward Bonham, which was approximately 37 nautical miles from Paris. The student became disoriented and attempted to contact both Fort Worth and McAlester Flight Service Stations without success. Other pilots in the area heard the student's calls and attempted to help. A pilot, who thought he saw the student's airplane (but might have seen another airplane), informed the student that Bonham was north of his position. The student flew north in search of Bonham, until the airplane ran out of fuel near Boswell, Oklahoma. Subsequently, the airplane was damaged during a forced landing in a rough/uneven field.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The student pilot's improper inflight planning and decision, after becoming lost/disoriented, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, before landing in a suitable landing area. Factors relating to the accident were: the pilot of another aircraft did not accurately identify the lost airplane before providing directions, and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing, once the engine lost power. Full narrative available
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