NTSB Identification: LAX92LA101.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46078.
Accident occurred Friday, January 24, 1992 in TONOPAH, NV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/16/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-31P, registration: N7325L
Injuries: 1 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.

SOMEONE CALLED THE TOWER AT LAS VEGAS AND ADVISED THAT THE PILOT OF THE ACCIDENT AIRPLANE TAXIING OUT FOR TAKEOFF HAD BEEN DRINKING. THE CONTROLLER INSTRUCTED THE PILOT TO RETURN TO THE RAMP, BUT HE REFUSED TO DO SO. THE CONTROLLER THEN ADVISED THE PILOT THAT THE RUNWAY WAS CLOSED, AND THE PILOT SAID HE HAD TO TAKE OFF AND DID SO AT 1845. THE CONTROLLER CONTACTED THE LOCAL AUTHORITIES WHO IN TURN INFORMED THE TONOPAH SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT AT THE PILOT'S PLANNED DESTINATION. AWAITING DEPUTIES OBSERVED THE AIRPLANE LAND SHORT OF THE RUNWAY. UPON THEIR ARRIVAL THE PILOT WAS SITTING ON THE LEFT FRONT SEAT, AND THERE WERE 3 EMPTY BEER CANS IN THE SNOW BELOW THE PILOT'S WINDOW. WHEN THE PILOT EXITED THE AIRPLANE THE DEPUTIES REPORTED THAT THE PILOT SMELLED OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, HIS SPEECH WAS SLURRED, HIS EYES WERE BLOODSHOT, AND HIS BALANCE WAS UNSTABLE. THE PILOT REFUSED TO UNDERGO A SOBRIETY TEST OR ANY BLOOD TESTS. EXAMINATION OF THE WRECKAGE DISCLOSED THAT THE FUEL TANKS WERE EMPTY.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO ASSURE THAT THERE WAS AN ADEQUATE SUPPLY OF FUEL IN THE AIRPLANE TO COMPLETE THE FLIGHT DUE TO ALCOHOLIC IMPAIRMENT OF EFFICIENCY AND JUDGEMENT RESULTING IN A TOTAL LOSS OF POWER OF BOTH ENGINES.

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