NTSB Identification: ERA11LA198
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, March 19, 2011 in Vineyard Haven, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/17/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA-32R-300, registration: N2027M
Injuries: 2 Minor.

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 pilot reported that, after flying for approximately 25 minutes, the engine lost power. He performed a forced landing on a nearby beach. During the landing, the airplane struck a piling and came to rest in knee-deep water. The wings and empennage sustained substantial damage. The pilot reported that he departed with the fuel gauges reading half full. A postaccident examination of the airplane revealed that the fuel tank selector valve was on the right tank position. The right wing fuel tank was compromised by impact forces. After recovery of the airplane from the beach, 20 gallons of seawater were drained from the right wing; there was no fuel present. The wreckage was moved to a nearby hangar where a more detailed examination of the airplane was performed. The examination revealed a lack of fuel throughout the fuel system.

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

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

Full narrative available

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