NTSB Identification: NYC05LA134.
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Accident occurred Saturday, August 13, 2005 in Erie, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-180, registration: N7534W
Injuries: 3 Fatal,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 had planned a round-trip cross country flight, with several stops. The airplane was fueled the night prior, and the pilot completed five legs of the trip uneventfully. He did not purchase fuel at the third airport, and remarked about the price. Fuel was not available at the fourth airport, and the pilot did not utilize the after hours telephone number at the fifth airport. While en route to the sixth airport, the pilot reported fuel exhaustion to ATC, and subsequently performed a forced landing in a wooded area. Examination of the wreckage revealed that the left wing fuel tank was compromised. The right wing fuel tank remained intact, and contained about 16 ounces of fuel, with some water observed in the fuel sample. Review of an owner's handbook for the make and model accident airplane revealed that the fuel capacity was 50 gallons, and the engine consumed 10 gallons of fuel per hour at a 75-percent power setting, resulting in a 5-hour endurance. Examination of fueling logs revealed that the airplane had flown approximately 5.07 hours tachometer time, or 5.7 Hobbs hours, since the last refueling.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion on approach, and subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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