NTSB Identification: ERA10CA194
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, March 28, 2010 in Palermo, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/16/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-180, registration: N3442R
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 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.

Prior to departure the pilot obtained a standard preflight weather briefing. Based on the pilot's input pertaining to flight performance parameters, the flight's duration was calculated to be about 3 hours, with an estimated fuel consumption of 29.3 gallons; this fuel consumption rate was based on the pilot's historical experience of 10.0 gallons per hour. The pilot stated that the flight departed with 34 gallons of usable fuel on board. After takeoff, the pilot obtained visual-flight-rules flight following and proceeded toward the destination airport. The engine experienced a total loss of power and, approximately 3 hours 7 minutes after takeoff, the pilot advised the controller that she had exhausted the airplane's fuel supply. The pilot maneuvered the airplane toward a field and the airplane collided with a tree during the descent. Inspection of the accident site and wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed the left wing was separated. No fuel was found in either main fuel tank and there was no evidence of leakage from either fuel filler cap or sump drain. A total of 1.5 ounces of fuel were drained from the carburetor bowl. Inspection of the engine revealed no evidence of preimpact failure or malfunction.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's inadequate fuel planning.

Full narrative available

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