NTSB Identification: FTW98LA359.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 15, 1998 in GRAND PRAIRIE, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N8770C
Injuries: 3 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.

During a dark night forced landing to Interstate 20's westbound lanes, the pilot was forced to land on the outside lanes due to a vehicle in the passing lane. During the landing, the right wing of the airplane collided with the guardrail. The pilot had flown the airplane from Arlington, Texas, to Shreveport, Louisiana, the day prior to the accident. The pilot did not refuel the aircraft at Shreveport. On the early morning return flight to Arlington, the pilot got off course and could not reorient himself. Fort Worth FSS in coordination with DFW Approach, provided the pilot with 'radar vectors to Arlington.' While at 2,000 feet msl, over Joe Pool Lake, the engine lost power and the pilot was unable to restart it. The pilot reported to a law enforcement officer 'that he became low on fuel and attempted to make an emergency landing.' Examination of the fuel system by an FAA inspector revealed that it had not been compromised, and there was no usable fuel in either fuel tank. The Hobbs meter showed 4.1 hours since the pilot rented the aircraft.

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

Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's failure to refuel which resulted in the loss of engine power. Factors were the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing, and the dark night light conditions.

Full narrative available

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