NTSB Identification: MIA85FLD02.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 28360.
Accident occurred Sunday, May 12, 1985 in FORT PIERCE, FL
Aircraft: PIPER PA-22-150, registration: N7315D
Injuries: 4 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.

PRIOR TO A FLT FROM THE BAHAMAS TO WEST PALM BEACH, FL, THE PLT NOTED A PROBLEM WITH THE QUICK-DRAIN FOR THE LEFT FUEL TANK. AFTER LANDING IN WEST PALM BEACH, FUEL WAS ONLY ADDED TO THE RIGHT TANK SINCE THE PLT ANTICIPATED REPLACING THE LEFT QUICK-DRAIN. ON THE NEXT FLT TO VERO BEACH, FL, HE WAS USING FUEL FROM THE LEFT TANK, WHEN THE ENG 'HESITATED.'AT THAT TIME, THE LEFT FUEL GAGE WAS INDICATING UNDER 1/4 FULL. THE PLT CHECKED THE MAGS & 'FOUND THE LEFT MAG WAS ROUGH.' WHILE COMPARING THE MAGS & CALLING VERO BEACH TOWER, THE ENG POWER 'FELL TO IDLE' WHEN THE ACFT WAS AT AN ALT OF ABOUT 1000 FT. THINKING HE HAD A MAG PROBLEM, THE PLT CONTINUED SWITCHING MAGS & DELAYED SWITCHING THE FUEL SELECTOR. SUBSEQUENTLY, HE MADE A FORCED LANDING ON A SANDY AREA WHERE THE RIGHT GEAR FOLDED & THE RIGHT ELEVATOR WAS DAMAGE. ONLY A FEW OUNCES OF FUEL WAS FOUND IN THE LEFT TANK. A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF FUEL WAS STILL REMAINING IN THE RIGHT FUEL TANK. ALSO, WATER & DIRT WERE FOUND IN THE RIGHT TANK & ABOUT 1 OUNCE OF WATER WAS IN THE FUEL LINES.

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

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

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

FUEL SUPPLY..MISJUDGED..PILOT IN COMMAND

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

FLUID,FUEL..STARVATION

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

EMERGENCY PROCEDURE..IMPROPER..PILOT IN COMMAND


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..LOOSE GRAVEL/SANDY


Contributing Factors

TERRAIN CONDITION..SOFT


Contributing Factors

ENGINE INSTRUMENTS,FUEL QUANTITY GAGE..FALSE INDICATION

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