NTSB Identification: CHI02LA052.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 17, 2001 in Clinton, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/15/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-34, registration: N4354A
Injuries: 2 Minor,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.

The airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a field, 500 feet short of the runway. While in cruise flight at 8,000 feet msl on an IFR flight plan, the airplane lost power on one engine. An emergency was declared and the airplane was given radar vectors to an airport. The pilot made a visual approach to the airport, but on final approach, the airplane lost power to the remaining engine and landed short of the runway. The pilot reported that during preflight he did not visually verify the fuel load by removing the fuel caps and looking into the fuel tanks, since there was "...standing water in the fuel caps and a moderate rainfall at near freezing [temperatures] and I did not want to contaminate my fuel." He reported that during taxi for takeoff the fuel gages read 1/2 full. He reported he expected to be able to return "...with just over an hour of fuel on board and leaving on a 45 minute flight." He reported that, "20 minutes into the flight my fuel gages began falling to empty." He reported, "30 miles west of GLY the right engine quit [.] I secured the engine and declared the emergency." The pilot requested radar vectors for GLY. The pilot reported he found a hole in the clouds and descended through it. He reported he was, "...getting established on a short final [when] the left engine quit with the aircraft settling short of the runway." The inspection of the airplane revealed there was no fuel in the tanks and neither propeller was found in the feathered position.

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

the pilot's inadequate prefight, his failure to feather the propellers, and the fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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