NTSB Identification: MIA02LA025.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, November 20, 2001 in Evans, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N6688P
Injuries: 1 Serious.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that about 40 minutes into the flight, at an altitude of about 3,000 feet, all of a sudden, and without warning, the engine ceased operating. He said he performed the emergency procedures, but was unable to get the engine operating again, and he affected a forced landing at the edge of a wooded area. A witness stated that he was in a parking lot, and he saw the airplane, and heard it "cutting on and off", and "waving" back and forth, before it crashed. A detective with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office stated that the pilot told him that he ran out of fuel and tried to land in an open field, but ended up crashing on the bank of a private pond. According to the FAA inspector who responded to the accident scene, the accident airplane's right wing had been destroyed, along with its associated fuel tank as a result of the impact, but the left wing had remained intact. The inspector further stated that the fuel tank in the left wing was found to be nearly full of fuel, and examination of fuel lines from the gascolator to the fuel pump, and from the fuel pump to the carburetor did not reveal any evidence of fuel. The NTSB conducted an operational test of the engine at Atlanta Air Salvage, Griffin, Georgia, and it functioned, exhibiting no evidence of preaccident failure or malfunction. In addition, a detailed examination and test of the airplane's carburetor revealed no anomalies.

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

The pilot's improper fuel management and failure switch to the other fuel tank which had fuel available prior to the engine ceasing to operate, which resulted in fuel starvation and damage to the airplane during an off-airport landing.

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