NTSB Identification: DEN89FA061.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 38851.
Accident occurred Saturday, January 14, 1989 in ALBUQUERQUE, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/22/1990
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-180, registration: N5983P
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

A TOTAL LOSS OF ENGINE POWER WAS EXPERIENCED DURING INITIAL TAKEOFF CLIMB. THE PLT ATTEMPTED TO TURN BACK TO THE AIRPORT. ACCORDING TO THE PASSENGER, THE STALL HORN ACTIVATED DURING THE TURN AND THE ACFT COLLIDED WITH THE GROUND. INVESTIGATION REVEALED THAT THE PILOT TOOK OFF WITH THE FUEL SELECTOR POSITIONED ON THE RIGHT WING FUEL TANK WHICH CONTAINED ONLY RESIDUAL FUEL.

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

ENGINE STOPPAGE FROM FUEL STARVATION WHICH RESULTED FROM THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO SELECT THE FULLEST TANK FOR TAKEOFF. IN ADDITION THE PILOT ATTEMPTED TO RETURN TO THE AIRPORT DURING THE FORCED LANDING AND INADVERTENTLY STALLED THE AIRCRAFT DURING THE DESCENDING TURN.

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