NTSB Identification: MIA05LA036.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 02, 2004 in Milton, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/20/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N7510W
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 pilot stated that the preflight was normal, fuel was "clear", no water was present, and he had approximately 35 gallons of fuel in the fuel tanks. He taxied to runway 36 and did an engine run-up prior to takeoff. He noted that the fuel selector was on the right fuel tank. He departed on runway 36, and shortly after liftoff the airplane engine started to run "rough", the pilot then switched the fuel tank selector to the left tank, he could not remember if the fuel tank selector was on a detent or not. He made a 180-degree turn to return back to the field and crashed 116 feet west of the north end of runway 18. The pilot added, during that time with the engine problem, he placed his right hand on the yoke and with the left hand he reached for the fuel selector slapping it to the left tank position. In the process he was leaning into and pulling on the yoke. With FAA oversight, Lycoming and Piper conducted examination of the airplane and engine. The airplane's engine examination revealed no indication of pre-impact anomalies or failure. The fuel lines were examined and no indication of fuel contamination was present. Fuel was found in all fuel lines forward of the gascolator on the firewall. The fuel tank selector was found in the off position. The FAA inspector stated that the witnesses who assisted with the accident recovery did not change the fuel selector position.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel starvation as a result of the improper fuel selector position.

Full narrative available

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