NTSB Identification: ATL06CA031.
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Accident occurred Sunday, January 01, 2006 in Phenix City, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/28/2006
Aircraft: Piper PA-23-160, registration: N4370P
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor,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 private pilot was on a visual flight rules cross country flight when he began encountering instrument conditions. The pilot continued into the instrument conditions for about 30 minutes before asking Atlanta Approach Control for directions to the nearest airport for landing. The controller directed the pilot to two different nearby airports but both were below minimums. The pilot informed the controller that he was low on fuel and needed to land as soon as possible. The controller directed the pilot to the Columbus Metropolitan Airport, Columbus, Georgia. The pilot told the controllers that he would attempt an Instrument approach. The pilot attempted four unsuccessful approaches with the controllers talking him through each approach. On the fifth approach, at five miles from the runway the pilot stated that both engine's quit due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot called "mayday" and during the forced landing the airplane collided with trees and the ground separating the right wing, half of the left wing, and coming to rest inverted. The pilot did not report any mechanical deficiencies with the airplane during the attempted approaches.

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

The pilot's inadequate decision to continue VFR flight into IMC conditions, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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