NTSB Identification: NYC02LA174.
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Accident occurred Thursday, August 22, 2002 in Manassas, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/02/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N9089C
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.

After a 2-hour night flight, the engine began to "sputter," and subsequently lost total power. The pilot performed an uneventful forced landing to a light highway. Since the airplane was blocking vehicle traffic, the pilot elected to taxi the airplane from the road to a grass area. During the taxi, the airplane struck a metal road sign with the left wing. Examination of the airplane revealed that both fuel tanks were empty and there was no evidence of fuel leakage at the accident site. Additionally, the pilot stated after the accident that he had been flying for about 2 hours and ran out of fuel. The pilot did not refuel during the flight.

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

The pilot's inadequate pre-flight planning, and his inadequate visual lookout while taxing on an off airport road. A factor related to the accident was the dark night conditions.

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