NTSB Identification: IAD01LA050.
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Accident occurred Sunday, April 29, 2001 in Clarksburg, WV
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Piper J3-C65, registration: N78521
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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.

Prior to departure, the pilot performed a preflight inspection, and noted the airplane was full of fuel, about 12 gallons total. He then departed with the fuel selector set to the right tank, and flew for about 1 hour and 20 minutes. When he observed the right fuel gauge read 1/4 tank, he switched to the left fuel tank and continued the flight. About 1 hour later the pilot noticed the left fuel gauge read 1/4 tank, and he prepared for a landing. The pilot then aborted the landing and initiated a go-around. During the go-around, he turned to the right and the engine lost power. The pilot performed a forced landing to a field and the airplane was substantially damaged. Examination of the airplane revealed about 1 gallon of fuel in the left fuel tank, and about 6 gallons of fuel in the right fuel tank. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical deficiencies.

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

The pilot's failure to perform fuel consumption calculations and incorrect positioning of the fuel tank selector, which resulted in fuel starvation of the engine.

Full narrative available

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