NTSB Identification: IAD97LA107.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 09, 1997 in SLATINGTON, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Diamond Aircraft Industries DA 20-A1, registration: N278PL
Injuries: 1 Serious,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 pilot descended from 3,500 feet MSL to 1,500 feet, circled the airport for 15 minutes as he was unable to activate the runway lights. He decided to climb to 2,500 feet, and he diverted to another airport, but shortly thereafter, the engine lost power. During the forced landing to a lighted, golf course, the airplane collided with a telephone pole, and descended to the ground. He had refueled the airplane with 19.4 gallons. According to the FAA, examination of the wreckage revealed 4 ounces of fuel in the fuel tanks, and the carburetor was empty. The total capacity of the fuel tanks was 20.3 gallons, the useable fuel was 19.5 gallons, and the fuel consumption was 3.8 gallons per hour. The flight had been airborne for over 4 hours 43 minutes. The pilot said there was no mechanical malfunction with the airplane, and the accident could have been prevented if proper reserve, diversion, and emergency procedures were followed. A functional test of the airport lights was performed after the accident, and they operated satisfactory. According to the FAA, this was the pilot's first flight to this airport.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning/ preparation which resulted in fuel exhaustion. Full narrative available
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