NTSB Identification: FTW01LA066.
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Accident occurred Monday, February 12, 2001 in Owasso, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/09/2001
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N2457Q
Injuries: 1 Minor,2 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The cross-country flight departed in dark night instrument meteorological conditions, and experienced "strong headwinds" and carburetor icing. The flying pilot applied carburetor heat, reduced the engine RPM, and readjusted the mixture in an attempt to increase the endurance. When the flight was approximately 35 miles from its destination, the low voltage light illuminated and the ammeter read zero. The flight was diverted to an airport with a precision approach; however, the engine started to lose power. The non-flying pilot switched the fuel selector from the left fuel tank, which the flight crew assumed to be empty, to the right fuel tank, which contained an estimated 10 gallons of fuel; however, the engine power did not change. The pilots requested vectors to the nearest airport; however, when the airplane broke out of the clouds at 800 feet agl, they could not reach the airport. The flying pilot set up for a landing in a field, where the airplane impacted a fence post during the landing roll. Examination of the airplane at the accident site by an FAA inspector revealed that the left fuel tank contained residual fuel only and the right fuel tank was compromised by impact damage. The engine was test run following the accident, and no anomalies were noted with either the engine or the alternator.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's delay in switching the fuel selector, which resulted in fuel starvation in cruise flight. Full narrative available
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