NTSB Identification: LAX04LA112.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 01, 2004 in Palmdale, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N4861F
Injuries: 4 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 collided with power lines during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. After about 2 hours 40 minutes of flight, the pilot retarded the throttle to begin his descent into an airport where he planned to refuel. The engine immediately lost power, and he felt roughness and a vibration. He turned the electric fuel boost pump on, and switched fuel tanks. The engine continued to sputter. He could not make a nearby airfield, and set up to land on a road. The airplane collided with power lines on the way down and the rudder separated from the airplane. The pilot was able to land on the road and then collided with multiple obstacles during the ground roll. Examination revealed that the fuel selector valve was on the right tank. The left fuel tank did not sustain mechanical damage, but the right tank was ruptured. There was about 1 quart of fuel in the left tank. There was about 50 milliliters of fuel in the gascolator and the carburetor contained about 75 milliliters of fuel. Fuel was added to the airplane and the engine was test run using the airplane systems. The engine started immediately. There were no leaks, and the engine did not hesitate, sputter, or backfire.

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

loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

Full narrative available

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