NTSB Identification: MIA99LA170.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 09, 1999 in AUBURN, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N983DB
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.

At an altitude of between 1,500 and 3,000 feet the airplane's engine lost complete power. The pilot attempted to land in a field, and struck the ground with the right wing. The wing separated, the airplane cartwheeled, and came to rest right side up. Several pilots heard the pilot on the Auburn UNICOM frequency, say that he was in distress, that he was experiencing engine trouble, and thought he might be out of fuel. Examination of the airplane's fuel tanks revealed about 8 ounces of fuel in the left wing, no fuel in the right fuel tank, and there were no signs of spilled fuel in the accident area. The Hobbs meter reading was 12.4 hours when the airplane was last fueled. The Hobbs meter reading after the accident was 16.2 hours, for a total of 3.8 hours total Hobbs time since the last refueling. The usable fuel for this airplane was 48 gallons. The calculated burn-rate for this flight was 12.63 gallons of fuel per hour. A burn rate of 12.63 gallons per hour, times 3.8 hours, equals 47.99 gallons of fuel used. Examination of the carburetor fuel screen revealed that it was clean and free of debris.

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

The pilot' failure to refuel the airplane prior to fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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