NTSB Identification: CHI03LA044.
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Accident occurred Friday, December 20, 2002 in Osage Beach, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N3236Y
Injuries: 2 Minor,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.

The airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing in a wooded area following a loss of engine power during descent for landing. The pilot reported having an electrical system failure during the flight. He reported that he switched the master switch off to conserve battery power about 12 to 15 nautical miles (nm) from the destination airport. He stated that the engine lost power about 5 to 6 nm from the destination. The pilot reported switching fuel tanks and turning the master switch and electric fuel pump on. The pilot reported that engine power was restored for about 10 to 15 seconds at which time the battery was completely drained and the engine stopped. Postaccident examination revealed that the mechanical fuel pump would not pump fuel when the engine was cranked using the starter. In addition, the fuel pump would not pump fuel unless the fuel pump's plunger was moved beyond the normal travel range. No determination was made as to the nature of the electrical system failure.

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

Fuel Starvation due to the failure of the mechanical fuel pump and the inoperable electric fuel pump caused by the electrical system failure. Factors were the unsuitable terrain and the trees.

Full narrative available

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