NTSB Identification: ERA12LA482
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, July 26, 2012 in Green Creek, NJ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2013
Aircraft: PIPER PA-12, registration: N4361M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 was returning to land after an uneventful banner-towing flight. He dropped the banner, added full engine power, climbed to traffic pattern altitude, and maneuvered to enter the downwind leg of the traffic pattern. During the climb, the engine sputtered and then lost total power. The pilot was not able to restart the engine and performed a forced landing into trees. Postaccident examination of the airplane did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions that would have precluded normal operation. Both fuel tanks were intact; the right fuel tank was found empty and the left fuel tank contained about 1.75 gallons of fuel. The airplane had been operated for more than 4 1/2 hours since its last refueling. It is likely that the airplane's low fuel state, combined with the maneuvering associated with the banner drop and the airplaneā€™s subsequent pitch-up and airport traffic pattern operations resulted in an interruption of fuel flow to the engine.

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

The pilot's inadequate fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation while maneuvering.

Full narrative available

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