NTSB Identification: ANC04LA043.
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Accident occurred Saturday, March 20, 2004 in West Palm Beach, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-24-250, registration: N6583R
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.

During the first flight after having maintenance performed on the airplane's fuel system, the pilot reported a total loss of engine power in cruise flight. During the flight the pilot and pilot-rated passenger discussed the lack of movement of the right fuel indicator needle with both main tanks in the "ON" position. After the loss of engine power, the pilot asked the more experienced pilot-rated passenger to take the controls for the landing. The airplane landed in a plowed field. After landing, the pilots noted that the right main tank was full, and the left main tank was empty. An inspection of the fuel system found the right fuel selector valve was assembled incorrectly, and actually blocked the flow of fuel from the right main tank when selected to the "ON" position.

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

The incorrect assembly of the fuel selector valve by maintenance personnel, and the pilot's failure to make a precautionary landing to assess the fuel situation and lack of movement of the right fuel tank indicator. which resulted in fuel starvation and the loss of engine power during cruise flight.

Full narrative available

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