NTSB Identification: IAD02LA051.
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Accident occurred Thursday, May 16, 2002 in Port Columbus, OH
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/13/2003
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-151, registration: N75303
Injuries: 2 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.

With a demonstrated fuel consumption rate of about 10 gallons per hour, the airplane departed on a return cross-country flight with a full 50-gallon fuel load, of which, 48 gallons was usable. The airplane encountered a headwind that averaged 36 knots, and the pilot changed altitude several times in search of more favorable wind. After 4.6 hours of flight, the engine stopped producing power. During the subsequent forced landing, the pilot declared to ATC that he had "run out of fuel." The airplane touched down on a highway where it nosed over. Examination of the airplane at the scene revealed no odor of fuel and no evidence of fuel spillage. The airplane was recovered, and a can of fuel was plumbed into the airplane's fuel system. The engine started immediately, and ran smoothly without interruption. The pilot did not update his weather briefing while the airplane was serviced, or at anytime during the return flight.

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

The pilot's exhaustion of his fuel supply. A factor in the accident was the pilot's inadequate preflight planning.

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