NTSB Identification: NYC05CA077.
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Accident occurred Friday, May 06, 2005 in Portland, ME
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N238PP
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 was conducting a cross-country flight. The airplane had been airborne for about 3.5 hours, and as the flight neared the airport, the engine sputtered. The pilot immediately turned on the electric fuel pump and switched from the right fuel tank to the left. About 1/2-mile from the runway, the engine lost total power. The pilot performed a forced landing to a marsh area, where the airplane came to rest inverted. The pilot stated that, "I am amazed at the low quantity of fuel I left in the left tank, the first tank used, when I initially switched tanks about half-way during the flight. There was probably a fraction of a gallon left! Obviously, if I had run the tank completely dry at altitude with only half of the trip complete, I would have realized refueling was necessary en-route."

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

A loss of engine power due to the pilot's improper decision not to land and refuel resulting in fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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