NTSB Identification: CHI05CA142.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, June 15, 2005 in Raymore, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/13/2005
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-181, registration: N6294C
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 airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing after a loss of engine power. The pilot reported that the projected flight time was "expected to be 2 hours and 36 minutes, and the fuel on board was planned at 5 hours 30 minutes, with a 2 hour reserve." When he was about 25 nm from his destination airport, he started his descent from 4,500 feet mean sea level (msl) to 2,000 feet msl. He reported that he checked the fuel gauges and they indicated that the fuel was "well over half full." When he was about 12 nm from the airport, the engine lost power over a populated area. He executed a forced landing to an area that did not have lights. The airplane landed upright in a muddy field after skidding about 200-300 feet. About one cup of fuel was drained from each wing tank sump and about a spoonful of fuel from the gascolator during the examination of the airplane. There was no evidence of a fuel leak anywhere on the airplane. The engine was rotated and thumb compression was observed on all cylinders, and spark was observed on all spark plugs. The pilot rented the airplane from a fixed base operator on June 10, 2005. The airplane was dispatched with the fuel tanks topped off with 48 gallons of fuel. The pilot reported that he flew nonstop to an airport located 246 nautical miles away. The pilot reported that on June 14, 2005, he flew to an airport that was 23 nautical miles away where he purchased 20.0 gallons of fuel. The pilot then flew back to the same airport 23 nautical miles away before departing on the accident flight later that night. The tachometer indicated the airplane had operated 6.2 hours, and the Hobbs meter indicated the airplane had flown 6.0 hours since the airplane was dispatched to the pilot on June 10th. The Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) indicated that the average fuel burn at 75 percent power with the engine properly leaned was about 10.5 gallons per hour. The average fuel burn for the accident airplane during the 6.0 hours (Hobbs time) it had been rented to the pilot was about 11.3 gallons per hour.

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

The loss of total engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's inadequate preflight. A factor was the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing.

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