NTSB Identification: NYC99LA203.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 16, 1999 in BERLIN, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-28R-200, registration: N2721R
Injuries: 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 reported he had performed two full stop takeoffs and landings and was on base leg for his third landing when the engine lost power. He left the landing gear extended, checked the fuel selector, but did not move it, and landed in a clearing. The left wing struck a tree and ruptured the fuel tank. Emergency personnel reported no smell of fuel at the accident site. Fuel was found in the right tank, but there was no evidence of fuel in the left tank, nor was there evidence of a fuel spill on the ground. In addition a small amount of fuel was found in the line from the engine driven fuel pump to the fuel control unit, and no fuel was found in the line from the fuel control unit to the fuel injection manifold. Fuel system continuity was confirmed and no evidence of blockage was found. The fuel injection unit was found to flow rich at most settings. No problems were found with the electric auxiliary fuel pump or the engine driven fuel pump. The pilot reported he departed with full tanks and could not explain why there was no evidence of a fuel spill from the ruptured fuel tank.

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

A loss of engine power for undetermined reason(s).

Full narrative available

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