NTSB Identification: NYC99LA164.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 03, 1999 in NEW CASTLE, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N4494Z
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

After takeoff, approximately 100 feet above the ground, the engine lost all power. The pilot made a left turn to avoid utility wires, and the airplane impacted terrain at a field adjacent to the airport. Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector did not reveal any pre-impact mechanical malfunctions. The Inspector observed the fuel selector valve in the 'OFF' position. He did not observe any fuel present in the carburetor bowl or fuel strainer. He added that the fuel strainer and carburetor bowl were not compromised during the accident. He interviewed the rescue personnel, and none of the people interviewed stated that they moved the fuel selector. Additionally, the Inspector observed the metal skin, surrounding the fuel selector, buckled. He did not observe any scrape marks near the fuel selector. When he asked the pilot about the position of the fuel selector prior to takeoff, the pilot could not remember the position.

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

The pilot tookoff with the fuel tank selector in an improper position (OFF), resulting in fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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