NTSB Identification: CHI97LA297.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 18, 1997 in INDIANAPOLIS, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28, registration: N6421R
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

En route to his intended destination, the pilot realized that his fuel state was low. While diverting to another airport, the airplane sustained a loss of engine power. The pilot switched tanks in an attempt to restore power to the engine; however, the engine did not restart. The pilot was conducting a forced landing when the airplane struck trees and the terrain. A postaccident examination of the airplane disclosed only unusable fuel. No leaks were found.

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

the pilot's improper planning/decision and failure to refuel the airplane in a timely manner, which resulted in fuel exhaustion. A related factor was: trees in the emergency landing area.

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