NTSB Identification: ATL02FA057.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 28, 2002 in Hamilton, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-300, registration: N33584
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot informed the controller that he was having engine problems. The controller asked the pilot what his intentions were and the pilot responded that he would like a vector to Pine Mountain or the nearest airport. The controller provided the pilot with a vector to the nearest airport. The pilot informed the controller that he had a complete loss of engine power. The controller asked how many people were on board and the fuel remaining. The pilot informed the controller that he had 40 gallons of fuel on board and that he was not going to make the airport, and he was going to land in a clearing. Radar contact was lost 8 miles north of Columbus VOR. Examination of the crash site revealed the forced landing area was unsuitable due to trees and high vegetation. Examination of the airplane revealed the left and right wing fuel tanks and left and right auxiliary fuel tanks were ruptured. No browning of vegetation was present along the crash debris line. The fuel caps were secure with a tight seal and there was no evidence of fuel streaking on either the upper or lower surface of the wing. The fuel line was disconnected to the flow divider and no fuel was present. The fuel strainer was manually turned on and about three ounces of fuel was collected. The fuel strainer was removed and about a ounce of fuel was collected. Review of refueling slips revealed the airplane was topped off before departing on the flight. Review of the Pilot's Operating Handbook Performance Section revealed the pilot had enough fuel for the planned flight with reserve fuel available. The engine test run indicates the engine was capable of producing power and there was no discrepancies or anomalies.

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

The loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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