NTSB Identification: LAX02LA102.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 03, 2002 in San Diego, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/30/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-140, registration: N1775T
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 airplane experienced a loss of engine power and impacted terrain about 450 yards from the approach end of the runway. The pilot spent about 1.5 hours reviewing the flight manual for the airplane due to his unfamiliarity with this model. He departed with the left fuel tank selected. He spent about 2 hours flying, and then returned to the departure airport. On his initial descent he switched the fuel selector valve to the right tank. About 1 nm from touchdown, the engine began to lose power. He rechecked that the mixture was rich, and the carburetor heat was on. He contacted the air traffic control tower and declared an emergency. He executed a forced landing short of the runway due to insufficient altitude. The pilot inspected the fuel tanks and observed no fuel in the tanks; however, the airplane was in a nose down, left wing low attitude. An FAA inspector examined the fuel system. He observed fuel in the left tank, but none in the right tank. A post accident engine ground run-up was conducted utilizing the left tank with no discrepancies noted.

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

fuel starvation due to the pilot's mismanagement of the fuel system.

Full narrative available

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