NTSB Identification: ATL88LA114.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 36522.
Accident occurred Monday, March 07, 1988 in ORANGEBURG, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/21/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-18-150, registration: N8994Y
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.

THE ENGINE LOST PWR AS THE AIRPLANE WAS RETURNING FROM A FIRE-PATROL FLT. THE PLT MADE A FORCED LDG IN A FIELD WHERE THE AIRPLANE RAN INTO SOFT DIRT AND NOSED OVER. POST-CRASH EXAM OF THE ACFT REVEALED NO EVIDENCE OF ANY FUEL RAMAINING IN THE FUEL SYSTEM. THE EXAM ALSO REVEALED THAT THE LEFT TANK FUEL CAP GASKET WAS MISSING AND THAT A LARGE FUEL STAIN EXISTED IN THE AREA OF THE LEFT TANK FILLER OPENING. THE PLT RPTD THAT HE HAD DEPARTED W/ FULL TANKS WHICH HE HAD VISUALLY CONFIRMED. HE INITIALLY OPERATED ON THE LT TANK FOR 1.5 HRS THEN SWITCHED TO THE RT TANK FOR 2.1 HRS. WHEN THE RT TANK RAN DRY HE SWITCHED BACK TO THE LT TANK BUT THE ENGINE DID NOT REGAIN PWR. THE PLT NOTED THAT AFTER PRIOR PATROL FLTS LASTING ABOUT 3.5 HRS, THE ACFT WOULD HAVE 5-6 GALLONS OF FUEL REMAINING. HE NORMALLY ESTIMATED FUEL REMAINING BY THE KNOWN AVG CONSUMPTION RATE OF THE ENGINE AND ELAPSED TIME. HE DID NOT GO BY FUEL GAUGE INDICATIONS BECAUSE THE GAUGES WEREN'T 'THAT ACCURATE'.

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

FLUID,FUEL..EXHAUSTION

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

FUEL SYSTEM,CAP..SIPHONING

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

AIRCRAFT PREFLIGHT..INADEQUATE..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..SOFT


Contributing Factors

ENGINE INSTRUMENTS,FUEL QUANTITY GAGE..INCORRECT


Contributing Factors

OPERATION WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES IN EQUIPMENT..PERFORMED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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