NTSB Identification: CHI08LA006.
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Accident occurred Monday, October 08, 2007 in Festus, MO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/28/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-28-151, registration: N43246
Injuries: 1 Fatal.

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 airplane impacted trees in a wooded area on a hill while reportedly en route to a destination airport located approximately 1.5 miles from the accident site. The wooded area was adjacent to a clearing and pasture. Both wings of the airplane were separated from the airframe and possessed damage consistent with tree strikes. Examination of the wreckage revealed the left wing fuel tank was empty and the right wing fuel tank contained approximately one cup of water and one quart of aviation fuel. The right wing fuel line at the wing root contained approximately one teaspoon of water and one teaspoon of aviation fuel. The electric fuel pump and gascolator contained water. There was no liquid in the carburetor bowl. Damage to the propeller was consistent with no engine power. The engine operated with no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation during a post accident engine run. The airplane flaps were in the fully retracted position and not in the extended position which is indicated for a forced landing.

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

The pilot's inadequate aircraft preflight, fuel system water contamination and fuel starvation which resulted in a loss of engine power during landing approach. An additional cause was the emergency landing procedure not followed by the pilot following a loss of engine power. Contributing to the accident were the trees, and night light conditions.

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