NTSB Identification: ATL04FA139.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 23, 2004 in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N9578C
Injuries: 2 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

During climb-out, at approximately 500 feet, the pilot radioed a 'MAYDAY MAYDAY" distress call. According to witnesses on the ground as the airplane climbed out the engine began to make a "sputtering noise" and then stopped. The airplane was observed in a left turn, by the tower controller, and descended out of sight. The pilot made no other radio transmissions. The airplane collided nose down into the roof of a commercial building about 1/2 mile from the departure end of runway 13. All flight control surfaces, and components were accounted for and identified at the wreckage site. Prior to the accident flight on June 23, 2004 the airplane was refueled with 16 gallons of 100LL. The fuel tank had compression damage to the leading edge and the tank was breached. There was no hydraulic type damage noted to the tank. Disassembly of the carburetor found no fuel in the bowl or in the acceleration pump. No fuel was noted in the engine driven fuel pump and only a trace amount was found in the fuel lines. The gascolator was crush damaged and the bowl was separated. The fuel boost pump was teardown and no blockage of the filter was noted. A trace amount of fuel was found inside the pump. No fuel was found at the accident site.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning which resulted in the loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, and the pilot's failure to maintain flying speed which resulted in an inadvertent stall, and the subsequent collision with a building.

Full narrative available

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