NTSB Identification: FTW02LA078.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 07, 2002 in Houston, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-18-150, registration: N4013E
Injuries: 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 pilot checked that both tanks were full and the fuel selector was in the right tank position prior to the banner tow flight. After having flown for "almost an hour," the pilot observed the right tank to be between one-half and one-quarter full, and decided it was too early to switch tanks. The pilot subsequently became involved in "the activities of the flight," and never checked the tanks again. At an altitude of 1,000 feet agl and 1.9 hours into the flight, the engine lost power. Two attempts to restart the engine proved unsuccessful, and a forced landing to an open area was initiated. The airplane hit the ground, bounced once, and flipped over, coming to rest inverted. The banner was not released during the forced landing.

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

the loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the pilot's failure to switch fuel tanks. A factor was the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing.

Full narrative available

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