NTSB Identification: IAD05LA113.
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Accident occurred Sunday, July 24, 2005 in Chatham, VA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/31/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-22-150, registration: N3818P
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 filled the airplane's right fuel tank with automotive gasoline prior to conducting a preflight inspection. The pilot subsequently selected the left fuel tank with the fuel selector, conducted a run up, and departed. When the airplane reached about 300 feet above ground level, the engine began to lose power. As the pilot attempted to avoid trees during the forced landing, the airplane impacted the ground, nosed over, and incurred substantial damage. Examination of the airplane and engine revealed no mechanical deficiencies, and that the fuel selector valve was not positively engaged.

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

The pilot's failure to ensure that the fuel selector valve was properly engaged, which resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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