NTSB Identification: FTW93LA056.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 48224.
Accident occurred Friday, December 25, 1992 in SLATON, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/14/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N4578R
Injuries: 3 Serious,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 PILOT, WHO HELD AN EXPIRED STUDENT CERTIFICATE, HAD THE RIGHT FUEL TANK REFUELED WITH 88 OCTANE AUTOMOTIVE GAS BEFORE DEPARTING FOR THE NIGHT FLIGHT WITH THREE PASSENGERS. THE LEFT FUEL TANK WAS EMPTY. DURING THE INITIAL CLIMB OUT FROM THE AIRPORT, A TOTAL LOSS OF POWER OCCURRED AND THE PILOT WAS FORCED TO LAND ON A SLOPE IN A CANYON. POST ACCIDENT EXAMINATION OF THE AIRPLANE AND POWERPLANT DID NOT REVEAL ANY MECHANICAL ANOMALIES. HOWEVER, THE FUEL SELECTOR HANDLE WAS FOUND POSITIONED ON THE LEFT FUEL TANK. THE POWERPLANT HAD BEEN CONVERTED UNDER AN STC TO USE AUTOMOTIVE GASOLINE.

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

THE TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER DUE TO FUEL STARVATION AS A RESULT OF IMPROPER FUEL TANK SELECTION. A FACTOR THE UNSUITABLE TERRAIN.

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