FTW94LA136
FTW94LA136

On April 21, 1994, approximately 0805 central daylight time, a Piper PA-31-350, N44AC, was substantially damaged during a forced landing near Laredo, Texas. The airplane, owned and operated by Aeropac, and flown by an ATP rated pilot, was on a cargo flight. An IFR flight plan was filed and in effect and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured.

The flight departed San Antonio, Texas, at 0729, en route to Laredo, Texas. The pilot stated that when he was about 45 miles north of Laredo, he noticed that the fuel gauges were indicating about 1/4 full with the right gauge reading higher than the left. The pilot stated that at that time he felt he had adequate fuel to make the destination, but not enough for reserves. He further stated he decided to have the gauges checked when he arrived in Laredo. He stated that about 5 miles north of the airport, the right engine low fuel light illuminated and the engine began to surge. This was followed shortly thereafter by the left engine beginning to surge. The pilot stated he realized at that point he was out of fuel. Both engines experienced a total power loss and were secured by the pilot. He subsequently executed a gear up forced landing in scrub brush after flying under a set of power lines. The pilot also stated he did not check the tanks during preflight, but instead relied on the gauges which indicated that he had enough fuel to make the trip.

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