NTSB Identification: LAX92LA324.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 47382.
Accident occurred Thursday, July 30, 1992 in PORTERVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N2519N
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.

ACCORDING TO THE STUDENT'S STATEMENT, THE AIRCRAFT WAS ABOUT 5 MILES OUT FROM THE AIRPORT DESCENDING TOWARD THE TRAFFIC PATTERN WHEN THE ENGINE SUDDENLY BEGAN TO RUN ROUGH AND QUIT INTERMITTENTLY. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO AFFECT AN ENGINE RESTART AND THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH ORANGE TREES ABOUT ONE HALF MILE SHORT OF THE RUNWAY. THE STUDENT PILOT WAS ON A SOLO CROSS COUNTRY ROUND ROBIN FLIGHT FROM VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA, WITH PLANNED STOPS AT PASO ROBLES AND PORTERVILLE FOR A TOTAL DISTANCE OF ABOUT 400 STATUTE MILES. THE DISTANCE FLOWN FROM VAN NUYS TO PORTERVILLE WITH THE STOP AT PASO ROBLES WAS ABOUT 270 MILES. THE INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE STUDENT DEPARTED PASO ROBLES AT ABOUT 1645 HOURS FOR PORTERVILLE AND DID NOT REFUEL THE AIRCRAFT AT PASO ROBLES. THE AIRCRAFT WAS EXAMINED BY FAA AIRWORTHINESS INSPECTORS WHO FOUND NO FUEL IN THE FUEL LINES OR CARBURETOR BOWL. NO FUEL SPILLAGE OR ODOR WAS DETECTED IN THE SOIL BENEATH THE AIRCRAFT. THE FUEL TANKS WERE RUPTURED IN THE IMPACT SEQUENCE WITH THE ORANGE TREES.

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

FUEL EXHAUSTION DUE TO THE STUDENT PILOT'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT AND INFLIGHT PLANNING, AND THE FAILURE TO REFUEL THE AIRCRAFT.

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