NTSB Identification: CHI91FA135.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 43083.
Accident occurred Sunday, April 21, 1991 in WADSWORTH, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/31/1993
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N651OP
Injuries: 4 Serious.

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 HIGH PERFORMANCE SINGLE ENGINE AIRPLANE WAS ON A LOCAL SIGHTSEEING FLIGHT WHEN THE ENGINE LOST POWER. THE PILOT CHOSE AN UNPLOWED, DIRT, FARM FIELD IN WHICH TO LAND. DURING THE LANDING APPROACH THE AIRPLANE STRUCK ELECTRICAL POWER TRANSMISSION LINES. WITNESSES STATED THAT THE AIRPLANE CARTWHEELED END OVER END AND FELL INTO THE FIELD. THE ON SCENE INVESTIGATION REVEALED AN EMPTY RIGHT WING FUEL TANK AND THE LEFT WING FUEL TANK WAS ABOUT 3/4 FULL. THE FUEL TANK SELECTOR VALVE WAS FOUND POSITIONED ON THE RIGHT WING TANK.

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

THE PILOT IN COMMAND'S FAILURE TO SELECT THE PROPER FUEL TANK AND NOT PERFORMING EMERGENCY PROCEDURES WHEN THE ENGINE CEASED TO RUN. A FACTOR RELATED TO THIS ACCIDENT WAS POWER TRANSMISSIONS WIRES LOCATED ON THE PILOT'S APPROACH PATH TO LANDING.

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