NTSB Identification: BFO89LA016.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38586.
Accident occurred Thursday, January 19, 1989 in ELKVIEW, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/28/1991
Aircraft: PIPER PA-38-112, registration: N2409F
Injuries: 2 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 ACFT WAS ONE OF THREE PA-38 ACFT FLYING TOGETHER FROM VENICE, FL TO BEAVER FALLS, PA. THE LEAD ACFT WAS FLOWN BY A CFI AND THE OTHER TWO ACFT, INCLUDING N2409F, WERE FLOWN BY NEWLY CERTIFICATED PVT PLTS. THE PLT OF N2409F WAS CERTIFICATED ON THE PREVIOUS DAY. ACCORDING TO THE PLT OF N2409F, FLIGHT PLANNING WAS DONE BY THE CFI. THE EN ROUTE FLIGHT WAS WITHOUT INCIDENT, EXCEPT THE FIRST REFUELING STOP WAS EARLIER THAN PLANNED, BECAUSE THEY WERE LOW ON FUEL. A SECOND REFUELING STOP WAS MADE AT SUMMERVILLE; HOWEVER, WHEN THEY LANDED THE FUEL SERVICE THERE WAS CLOSED. ACCORDING TO THE PLT, EACH ACFT HAD 4 GALS OF FUEL. HE SAID THE CFI DETERMINED THEY HAD ENOUGH FUEL TO REACH CHARLESTON, LOCATED 40 MILES AWAY. THEY TOOK OFF AND, ACCORDING TO THE PLT, ABOUT 14 MILES SOUTH OF CHARLESTON, HIS ACFT RAN OUT OF FUEL. HE MADE A FORCED LANDING AND THE ACFT COLLIDED WITH TREES DURING THE LANDING. THE OTHER TWO ACFT REACHED CHARLESTON AND WERE REFUELED WITH MORE THAN 30 GALS OF FUEL (CAPACITY WAS 32 GALS; USABLE FUEL WAS 30 GALS).

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

INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT BY THE PILOT AND INADEQUATE CREW/GROUP COORDINATION BY THE FLIGHT LEADER (CFI), WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL EXHAUSTION DUE TO AN INADEQUATE SUPPLY OF FUEL. A FACTOR RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WAS: THE PRESENCE OF TREES IN THE EMERGENCY LANDING AREA.

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