NTSB Identification: CHI02LA114.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, April 23, 2002 in Lafayette, IN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-161, registration: N563PU
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 received sustained substantial damage when it nosed over during a forced landing to a golf course 3 miles north of the destination airport. The student pilot reported she was flying a solo cross-country instructional flight. She departed at 1600 EST and had landed at another airport, but had not refueled. She departed and was en route to the destination airport. The pilot reported she was cleared to land on runway 23 and was number three for landing when the engine lost power. Her altitude was about 1,600 feet MSL and she preformed an emergency landing to a golf course. During the landing rollout, the airplane nosed over. The time of the accident was 1830 EST. The pilot reported, "If I were enabled to fly again, I would remember to switch my fuel tanks (as it says on the check lists). I would not rely on habit but on the lists which are given me for the purpose of not relying on habit." The inspection of the airplane revealed no fuel in the right tank and full fuel in the left tank. The fuel selector was found in the right tank position. The engine run was performed and the engine ran with no anomalies.

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

The pilot's improper fuel management resulting in the total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation and the pilot's failure to use the checklist.

Full narrative available

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