NTSB Identification: MIA00LA218.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 16, 2000 in IMMOKALEE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/16/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N980AC
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

At departure, the airplane had been operated for 1.8 hours since fueling. The pilot rated student (student) had not received systems ground instruction but preflighted the airplane. Fuel was noted in the right main fuel tank; he intended on inquiring about the quantity with the CFI, but didn't. The flight departed with the fuel selector positioned to the right main fuel tank and remained on that position until the engine experienced a loss of power. The CFI took the controls and stated she moved the fuel selector; the student stated he could not recall if she moved the fuel selector after the loss of power but during the flight, 'he did not touch the fuel selector at all.' The CFI stated the airplane impacted the ground at about 100 knots; the student stated that the airplane, 'came straight down for the last few feet.' Postaccident examination of the airplane revealed the fuel selector was positioned to the right main fuel tank; no fuel was noted in that tank. The remaining fuel tanks were nearly full. No fuel was in the fuel line at the inlet of the engine driven fuel pump; the fuel selector and auxiliary fuel pump checked satisfactory.

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

The inadequate supervision of the pilot rated student by the CFI for her failure to note that the fuel selector was positioned to an empty fuel tank. Also, failure of the CFI to attain the proper rate of descent at touchdown resulting in a hard landing. Contributing to the accident was the total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation, and inadequate preflight planning preparation by the CFI for her failure to review the airplane systems with the pilot rated student. Also, inattention by the pilot rated student for his failure to reposition the fuel selector during the flight.

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