NTSB Identification: LAX04LA143.
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Accident occurred Sunday, February 29, 2004 in Mariposa, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/08/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N5205L
Injuries: 1 Minor,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.

All engine power was lost during an approach for landing and the airplane collided with a berm during a forced landing on soft terrain. The pilot had departed for the planned 2.5-hour-long flight with partially full fuel tanks. No mechanical malfunctions were experienced during the climb or cruise portion of the flight. The engine did not sputter or backfire. Approaching the destination airport, the engine suddenly lost all power. The pilot repositioned the fuel selector to the opposite fuel tank, and engine power was restored. However, about 1 minute later all engine power was again lost, at which point the airplane was approximately 4 miles from the airport. The airplane was subsequently examined by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector. He reported observing 4 and 8 gallons of fuel in the left and right wings' fuel tanks, respectively. The gascolator bowl was devoid of foreign material. The engine was test run and it operated normally. According to the FAA's type certificate data sheet, the airplane's unusable fuel was only 2.2 pounds (about 1/3-gallon). The cause of the engine power loss was not determined.

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

The total loss of engine power for undetermined reasons.

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