NTSB Identification: NYC02LA062.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 17, 2002 in Newbolds Corner, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/17/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N56885
Injuries: 2 Minor.
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 of the Piper PA-28-140 reported that he departed on a cross-country flight with full fuel tanks. After 2 hours and 5 minutes of flight, the engine lost power, and he performed a forced landing to a field. Examination of the airplane revealed no fuel in the tanks, and a fuel stain on the firewall. When fuel was added and the fuel system pressurized, fuel leaked from the b-nut at the exit side of the engine driven fuel pump. The b-nut was able to be tightened two full turns by hand. The engine had recently been removed and replaced, and the fuel sensors in the wings changed. The maintenance was performed at an FAA approved repair station. However, there was no specific requirement for inspection of fuel lines prior to returning the airplane to service. In addition, the pilot reported that he did not believe the accuracy of the fuel gauges.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Improper maintenance which resulted in a loss of fuel and subsequent loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. Factors were the pilot's failure to monitor the fuel quantity gauges, and the gusty wind conditions. Full narrative available
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