NTSB Identification: DEN07CA105.
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Accident occurred Friday, June 22, 2007 in Santa Fe, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/30/2007
Aircraft: Piper PA-32-301T, registration: N8207Z
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 reported being approximately 7,200 feet, 3 miles south of the airport, when the airplane's engine began to run rough. The pilot turned back toward the airport and then determined that he would not be able to reach it. About that time, the engine "stopped completely." The pilot decided to attempt a forced landing to a hilly pasture. During the forced landing the airplane impacted the rough terrain, the landing gear sheared off, and the right wing bent upward approximately 3 feet inboard of the tip. Inspectors at the scene reported the right wing was also broken aft at the wing root. The pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries. An examination of the airplane showed the left wing fuel tank empty. The right wing fuel tank showed some residual fuel. The airplane's fuel selector valve was positioned to the left wing fuel tank. Flight control continuity was confirmed. An examination of the engine, engine controls, and other airplane systems showed no anomalies.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate preflight planning and preparation, and improper in-flight decisions resulting in fuel exhaustion. A factor was the unsuitable terrain for landing. Full narrative available
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