NTSB Identification: MIA98LA044.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 22, 1997 in EVERGLADES CITY, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/30/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N9640J
Injuries: 2 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.

Postcrash interview with the pilot revealed he based his decision to not make an intermediate fuel stop on the fact that he had 14 gallons remaining when he did refuel at Naples Municipal Airport on a recent, identical trip. He rationalized that because heavy headwinds were encountered that first trip and he still had 14 gallons remaining when he landed for refueling, that this flight's fuel requirements would make a fuel stop unnecessary. He overflew Naples and nearby Everglades Airpark, then the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. Miami ARTCC gave the pilot immediate vectors for Everglades Airpark, but his glide was about 6 miles short, and he crashed into mangrove trees within Everglades National Park.

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

the pilot's improper fuel management and improper in-flight planning/decision, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, loss of engine power, and a forced landing. Related factors were: the light conditions at dusk, and the lack of suitable terrain for a forced landing.

Full narrative available

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