NTSB Identification: ATL90FA031.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 41481.
Accident occurred Saturday, November 25, 1989 in HELEN, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/26/1992
Aircraft: PIPER PA-24-250, registration: N7681P
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

WHILE IN CRUISE ALTITUDE EN ROUTE TO ATHENS, GA THE ENGINE QUIT. THE FLIGHT WAS LAST OBSERVED BY HUNTERS LOW OVERHEAD PRIOR TO COLLIDING WITH TREES. THE WITNESS DID NOT HEAR THE ENGINE RUNNING. THE COLLISION SEPARATED THE WING STRUCTURE AND THE AIRPLANE CRASHED INVERTED IN THE WOODS. THE WRECKAGE EXAMINATION FAILED TO DISCLOSE MECHANICAL PROBLEMS. RECONSTRUCTION OF THE FLIGHT ROUTE INDICATED THAT THE PILOT DID NOT HAVE ENOUGH FUEL. EN ROUTE ATTENTION TO ACTUAL FLIGHT TIME WOULD HAVE ALERTED THE PILOT OF THE NEED TO REFUEL PRIOR TO ATHENS.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO PROPERLY PREFLIGHT AND PLAN EN ROUTE REFUELING STOPS. THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH TREES DURING THE EMERGENCY DESCENT.

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