NTSB Identification: ERA10CA214
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Tuesday, April 06, 2010 in Louisville, KY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/21/2010
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N4247T
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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 received a weather briefing prior to departing on the 277-nautical mile cross-country flight. The airplane's departure fuel level was "above the tabs, but not full." Information from the manufacturer's Pilot's Operating Handbook (POH) indicated that, when the fuel level was at the tabs, the fuel quantity was 35 gallons. The maximum usable fuel capacity was 48 gallons. The pilot stated that the weight of his baggage precluded him from operating with full fuel tanks, and that he encountered "stronger than expected headwinds" along the route of flight. About 2030, when the airplane was 1 mile from the destination airport, the engine "quit." The pilot executed a forced landing on a road, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and both wings. Examination by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that each of the airplane's fuel tanks contained approximately 1 to 2 cups of fuel. No fuel was found in the gascolator or the carburetor. The pilot reported there were no mechanical malfunctions or failures, and in an interview with the FAA inspector, the pilot stated that he should have stopped for fuel en route. According to the POH, at 75 percent power, and operating with a "lean mixture," the airplane's fuel consumption rate was 10 gallons per hour.

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 management.

Full narrative available

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