NTSB Identification: ERA11CA352
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 18, 2011 in Ridgeville, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/19/2011
Aircraft: PIPER PA18-160, registration: N177SC
Injuries: 2 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 filled the airplane's fuel tanks to capacity, a total of 36 gallons, prior to departing on the flight to the banner-tow site, which was approximately 2 hours away. After picking up the banner, he flew the banner for about 35 minutes before dropping it back at the airport. He then departed to an airport approximately 27 miles away in order to refuel the airplane. After landing at the airport, the pilot found the fuel pump locked and departed to a second airport approximately 20 miles away. The pilot stated that the weather began to deteriorate and he decided to turn around. The pilot then elected to divert to a third airport. Approximately 7 miles from the airport, the airplane’s engine lost all power. The pilot conducted a forced landing to a railroad track and, during the landing rollout, the airplane's right wing impacted a pole. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage and right wing. After a Federal Aviation Administration inspector supplied fuel to the engine during a postaccident examination, the engine started and ran with no anomalies. The pilot stated that he ran out of fuel.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A total 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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