NTSB Identification: FTW98LA305.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 09, 1998 in SAN ANGELO, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-22-135, registration: N1279C
Injuries: 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 airplane nosed over during a forced landing to a construction area following a loss of engine power in cruise flight. At the accident site, an FAA inspector found the left fuel tank empty and the fuel selector in the off position. A mechanic, who arrived at the site before the inspector, stated that he turned the selector off. In a written statement, the pilot did not mention selecting a different fuel tank following the power loss. In two interviews, the pilot made conflicting statements as to whether she had switched fuel tanks. Examination of the engine revealed no evidence of any discrepancies that would have precluded normal operation. After the impact damaged lower half of the carburetor was replaced, the engine was run on a test stand for about 10 minutes at various power settings.

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

The loss of engine power as a result of fuel starvation due to the pilot's improper positioning of the fuel selector. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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