NTSB Identification: CHI98LA064.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 16, 1997 in WICHITA, KS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/04/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N6377L
Injuries: 2 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 commercial pilot checked the right wing fuel tanks and reported there was fuel in them. The CFI checked the left tanks and reported the tip tank was full and the main tank was down about 1 1/2 inches. After a half hour local flight, one touch and go, and one go-around the commercial pilot switched from the left main tank to the right main tank while on downwind. The CFI then noticed a zero fuel indication and was switching to another tank when a loss of engine power occurred. The CFI switched back to the left main tank and power was restored as the airplane contacted the terrain short of the runway. Inspection of the airplane revealed the right main fuel tank was empty.

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

the pilot-in-command misjudged the fuel supply and selected an empty fuel tank which resulted in fuel exhaustion. A factor associated with the accident was the rough terrain encountered when the airplane touched down short of the runway.

Full narrative available

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