NTSB Identification: CHI97LA209.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 10, 1997 in O'NEIL, NE
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/21/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-235A, registration: N7050Z
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.

The pilot reported the fuel tanks were topped off. The winds were from 160 degrees at 20 gusting to 27 knots. The pilot reported flying at 1,000 feet above ground level. He diverted to the west due to weather. He reported that after two hours of flight, the engine RPM dropped from 2,200 to 2,000, and then to 1,500 RPM. The pilot was maneuvering to land in a field which ran north to south, when the engine RPM dropped to 1,000. He then determined that he could not reach the intended field, so he turned to the southwest for a forced landing. He reported that as he flared during touchdown, a wind gust from the south lifted the left wing, and the right wing struck the ground. The airplane did not have an operable fuel indication system. A visual inspection disclosed a small amount of fuel in the carburetor float chamber and the firewall fuel strainer. There was no evidence of fuel in the fuel tank or lower fuselage cavity. Also, there was no evidence of fuel seepage at the crash site or stains on the fuselage where fuel could have seeped out.

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

fuel exhaustion, due to the pilot's improper planning/decision and inadequate fuel consumption calculations. Factors relating to the accident were: the lack of an operable fuel indication system, and the high winds.

Full narrative available

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