NTSB Identification: FTW97LA132.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 19, 1997 in BROOMFIELD, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N2572Y
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.

The solo student pilot reported that after practicing 'air work', that he returned to the traffic pattern for landing practice when on an upwind departure, at 50 to 75 feet, the engine lost power. Documentation of flight times in the accident airplane revealed that it had been flown 3.3 hours since it's previous refueling. Examination by an FAA inspector at the accident site, revealed the left tank contained no fuel and the right tank contained five to six gallons of fuel. The fuel selector was found in the left tank position.

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

the student pilot's improper use of the fuel tank selector which led to fuel starvation and loss of engine power. Factors were the pilot's inadequate fuel management and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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