NTSB Identification: NYC87FA249.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 36226.
Accident occurred Friday, September 11, 1987 in RIVERHEAD, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/16/1989
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N15917
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Uninjured.

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.

THE PIPER PA-28-180 EXPERIENCED A POWER LOSS DUE TO FUEL EXHAUSTION WHILE FLYING OVER THE LONG ISLAND SOUND. THE PILOT WAS UNABLE TO REACH SHORE PRIOR TO DITCHING. THE DITCHING WAS SUCCESSFUL AND BOTH OCCUPANTS EXITED THE AIRCRAFT WITHOUT INJURIES. AFTER BEING IN THE WATER FOR A WHILE. THEY VOLUNTARILY SEPARATED AND ONE WAS EVENTUALLY PICKED UP AFTER BEING IN THE WATER 3 HOURS. THE OTHER OCCUPANT DROWNED AND WAS FOUND SEVERAL DAYS LATER. THE AIRCRAFT SANK AND WAS NOT RECOVERED. THE PILOT FAILED TO COMMUNICATE HIS SITUATION IN A TIMELY MANNER AND EVEN AFTER TELLING ATC THAT HE WAS LOW ON FUEL ACCEPTED A DESCENT WHICH REDUCED HIS GLIDING DISTANCE. IN ADDITION THERE WAS NO FLOTATION EQUIPMENT ON THE AIRCRAFT. THE PILOT SAID HE HAD PLANNED THE FLIGHT WITH A FUEL BURN OF 8-9 GPH. THE ACFT OWNER, WHO HAD PURCHASED THE ACFT 2 YRS PRIOR, STATED THAT HE ALWAYS FLT-PLANNED FOR 13 GPH WHEN FLYING CROSS-COUNTRY.

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 CONSUMPTION CALCULATIONS..INACCURATE..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

IN-FLIGHT PLANNING/DECISION..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND



Contributing Factors

REFUELING..NOT PERFORMED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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