NTSB Identification: ATL91FA064.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 44653.
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 13, 1991 in LAWRENCEVILLE, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-34-220T, registration: N9191P
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

THE FLIGHT DEPARTED WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK EN ROUTE TO MARIETTA, GEORGIA. STRONG HEAD WINDS WERE FORECASTED FOR THE ROUTE OF FLIGHT. UPON REACHING THE FOOTHILLS VOR (ODF) THE PILOT DECIDED TO DIVERT TO ATHENS, GEORGIA IN ORDER TO OBTAIN FUEL. THE FLIGHT HAD BEEN UNDER WAY FOR FOUR HOURS AND FORTY-SIX MINUTES AT THIS POINT, AND THE FLIGHT PLAN REPORTED FIVE AND ONE HALF HOURS OF FUEL ON BOARD AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FLIGHT. THE PILOT DID NOT OBTAIN THE ATHENS WEATHER PRIOR TO MAKING HIS DECISION. CEILINGS AT THE ATHENS AIRPORT WERE LOWER THAN THE MINIMUM DESCENT ALTITUDE FOR THE APPROACHES INTO ATHENS. THERE WERE OTHER AIRPORTS WITHIN THE REMAINING FUEL RANGE WHICH WERE VFR AT THE TIME. THE PILOT MADE AN APPROACH TO THE ATHENS AIRPORT AND ATTEMPTED AN APPROACH INTO ANOTHER AIRPORT ABOUT 17 MILES TO THE EAST OF ATHENS. THE PILOT DID NOT DECLARE AN EMERGENCY UNTIL AFTER THE MISSED APPROACH INTO THE ATHENS AIRPORT. HE THEN ATTEMPTED TO LOCATE THE LAWRENCEVILLE, GEORGIA AIRPORT, BUT WAS UNABLE TO SEE THE AIRPORT, AS THE RUNWAY LIGHTS WERE OUT OF SERVICE AT THE TIME. THE AIRCRAFT LOST POWER AS A RESULT OF FUEL EXHAUSTION AND CRASHED LANDED IN THE CITY OF LAWRENCEVILLE ABOUT THREE MILES SOUTH OF THE AIRPORT.

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

THE POOR INFLIGHT PLANNING BY THE PILOT WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL EXHAUSTION. FACTORS RELATED TO THIS ACCIDENT WERE THE UNFAVORABLE WINDS, THE DARK NIGHT, AND THE INOPERABLE AIRPORT RUNWAY LIGHTS.

Index for Mar1991 | Index of months