NTSB Identification: CHI99LA355.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 30, 1999 in HERMOSA, SD
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N3889F
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.

While en route to Rapid City, South Dakota, the airplane's engine started to lose power. The pilot said he discovered the fuel selector in the off position. The pilot switched the fuel selector to the left wing tank, and switched the ferry tank to 'off'. The engine began to run normally. Approximately 15 minutes later, the engine began to lose power again. The pilot turned the fuel selector to the right wing tank, turned on the electric fuel pump, and selected carburetor heat. The pilot said that none of these actions had any effect. The pilot performed a precautionary landing to a dirt road. After touching down on the dirt road, the airplane's right wing tip struck a wood fence post. The pilot said the impact tore off the right wing and the airplane spun around 180 degrees before coming to a stop. Examination of the airplane revealed fuel in the wing tanks. No fuel was found in the ferry tank. Examination of the engine and other airplane systems revealed no anomalies.

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

the pilot's improper fuel management, improper in-flight decision and the precautionary landing. Factors relating to this accident were the pilot's inadequate preflight planning and the fence post.

Full narrative available

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