NTSB Identification: DEN04CA073.
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Accident occurred Saturday, May 22, 2004 in Flagler, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/01/2004
Aircraft: Piper PA-25-235, registration: N8586L
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.
The pilot said he was aerial spraying 15 miles south of Flagler, Colorado. He said he refueled the airplane the load before the accident with 15 to 20 gallons of fuel. The pilot reported his bubble fuel gage indicated he had 10 to 15 gallons of fuel. The pilot said he was in a turn, reversing course to make his last pass on a field before returning to the airstrip. About 200 feet above the ground, the engine lost power. The pilot said he leveled the wings, put the nose down, and thought he would be okay. He said however, he had no airspeed to flare and hit the ground hard. The airplane's main landing gear and right wing were broken aft. The pilot said he was "100 percent certain" that he ran out of fuel. An examination of the airplane revealed no anomalies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper in-flight planning/decision which led to fuel exhaustion and subsequent loss of engine power. Factors contributing to the accident were the low altitude, low airspeed, and the inoperative fuel quantity gauge. Full narrative available
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