NTSB Identification: LAX87LA062.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 32993.
Accident occurred Wednesday, December 10, 1986 in HAYWARD, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/10/1988
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-235, registration: N1429H
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.

A PIPER PA-28-235 COLLIDED WITH A DIRT BANK AFTER A LOSS OF POWER WHILE ON A NIGHT VFR PLEASURE FLIGHT. THE PLT INDICATED THAT APRX 3 MIN AFTER TAKEOFF WHILE CRUISING AT 1,400 FT MSL THE ENGINE RPM ABRUPTLY DECREASED TO IDLE. THE FUEL SELECTOR CONTROL WAS FOUND IN THE LEFT TIP TANK POSITION AFTER THE ACCIDENT AND THE LEFT TIP TANK WAS EMPTY. THE OPERATORS MANUAL FOR THE ACFT STATES 'FOR ALL OPERATIONS THE TIP TANKS SHOULD BE USED LAST. WHEN USING LESS THAN THE STANDARD 84 GAL CAPACITY OF THE TANKS, IT IS RECOMMENDED THE TIP TANKS BE FILLED FIRST AND THEN REGULATE THE FUEL LOAD BY VARYING THE AMOUNT OF FUEL IN THE INBOARD TANKS.' THE PLT INDICATED THAT THERE WAS 30-35 GALS OF FUEL ON BOARD AT THE LAST TAKEOFF. THE CAPACITY OF THE TWO MAIN INBOARD TANKS IS 25 GALS EACH. THE TIP TANKS HOLD 17 GALS EACH. THE PLT INDICATED IN HIS STATEMENT THAT DURING HIS PREFLIGHT INSPECTION THE LEFT MAIN TANK WAS FILLED TO THE FILLER NECK WHILE THE RIGHT MAIN TANK WAS BELOW THE TAB.

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

PREFLIGHT PLANNING/PREPARATION..POOR..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

FUEL TANK SELECTOR POSITION..NOT CORRECTED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

LIGHT CONDITION..DARK NIGHT


Contributing Factors

UNSUITABLE TERRAIN OR TAKEOFF/LANDING/TAXI AREA..SELECTED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

FLIGHT MANUALS..NOT FOLLOWED..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

FLUID,FUEL..EXHAUSTION


Contributing Factors

WEATHER CONDITION..HAZE/SMOKE


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..ROUGH/UNEVEN

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