NTSB Identification: LAX08CA224.
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Accident occurred Thursday, July 10, 2008 in Camarillo, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/28/2008
Aircraft: Piper PA-18A-150, registration: N7471D
Injuries: 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 pilot stated that he was descending on a 5-mile final approach for the runway when the airplane experienced a total loss of engine power. He said that there were no abnormal indications on the engine gauges, and he believed he had exhausted all useable fuel in the two right wing fuel tanks. He immediately switched the fuel selector to the left wing tank. The engine did not regain power, so the pilot verified that the magneto switches were on. According to the pilot, there is no electric starter installed on the engine. The airplane continued to descend, and about 500 feet above the ground, the propeller stopped rotating. The pilot released the banner he was towing, and he made a forced landing in a rough field. The airplane nosed over during the landing rollout, and the left wing's structure was damaged. The pilot reported that the airplane was equipped with three fuel tanks, two in the right wing and one in the left wing. Each tank holds 18 gallons of fuel, for a total of 54 gallons that provides about a 6-hour endurance. During banner tow operations the fuel burn off rate is about 8 gallons per hour. All fuel tanks were filled to capacity prior to the pilot's 1040 takeoff. The airplane had been airborne about 4 hours when the loss of power occurred.

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

The pilot's inadequate fuel management, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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