NTSB Identification: ERA11CA225
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, April 02, 2011 in Manville, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA38, registration: N2491K
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.

The pilot stated that he and his son departed on a flight to practice instrument approaches at three different airports. He said that the practice approaches that he completed were uneventful. On the return flight, with the son at the controls, on the base leg of the traffic pattern, the engine experienced a total loss of engine power. The pilot said that the fuel selector was on the left wing tank, and the corresponding fuel quantity gauge indicated that the tank was empty. He switched the fuel selector to the right tank, which he used during the practice approaches; however, an attempted restart was unsuccessful. He conducted a forced landing to a road, resulting in substantial damage to the fuselage, empennage, horizontal stabilizer, and rudder. Postaccident examination by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that the left fuel tank contained less than one pint of fuel, and the right fuel tank contained approximately 6 gallons.

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 loss of engine power due to fuel starvation.

Full narrative available

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