NTSB Identification: LAX98LA281.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, September 02, 1998 in PHOENIX, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N55038
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.

After a local 1-hour night flight the pilot was returning to the airport. At 1,000 feet agl, and 4 1/2 miles from the airport, the airplane experienced a loss of engine power. The pilot switched fuel tanks and went through the emergency checklist but was unable to gain a restart. The pilot landed hard in a landfill area and collided with a dirt bank during the landing roll. The fuel selector was found positioned to the right fuel tank, which had a small amount of fuel in it. About 3 to 4 gallons of fuel was found in a puddle underneath the right wing. The left wing tank had no fuel in it.

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

Fuel starvation due to the pilot's inadequate in-flight fuel management and his failure to select a tank containing fuel prior to the loss of power.

Full narrative available

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