NTSB Identification: LAX00LA075.
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Accident occurred Friday, January 14, 2000 in KERNVILLE, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/29/2000
Aircraft: Piper PA-38-112, registration: N2572N
Injuries: 2 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.
During preflight planning, the pilot realized he would need an en route fuel stop due to forecast headwinds. About 45 minutes into the flight, his passenger became agitated and he diverted to an alternate airport in his flight path, which was about 25 miles from his planned fuel stop, to take care of the passenger's concerns. He found that there were no fuel services available at this airport, and in recalculating his flight plan, estimated that he had enough fuel to continue the flight to the destination airport without stopping to refuel at his planned en route fuel stop. He stated that after takeoff from the alternate airport it was becoming dark and he was a stressed out due to mountainous terrain on his flight path, as well as his passenger's discomfort. Approximately 5 miles southeast of the accident airport the pilot informed air traffic control that he was low on fuel. He was provided vectors to the accident airport, which did not have a lighted field. After descending to a lower altitude to locate the airport the engine quit. He switched tanks, and the engine restarted. Approximately 15 seconds later the engine quit again. He saw two cars on a road and landed in-between them. The right wing collided with a road sign during the landing rollout. The fuel tanks were inspected and found to contain residual fuel, with no evidence of leakage.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's in-flight decision to not refuel the airplane at an en route stop as planned. Full narrative available
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