ATL95LA039
ATL95LA039

On January 13, 1995, at 0915 eastern standard time, a Piper PA- 31-350, N7144Z, collided with transmission wires and trees during a forced landing at Burlington, North Carolina. The airline transport pilot had minor injuries, and the aircraft was substantially damaged. The aircraft was being operated under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 by Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc. of Burlington. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the business flight. The flight originated in Columbus, Ohio, at an undetermined time.

The pilot reported that he had departed Burlington on the previous day for a round trip flight to Columbus, Ohio. He stated that prior to his departure from Burlington, he was told that the aircraft had been flown two tenths of an hour after having been refueled. He stated that the fuel gauges indicated between 3/4 and full prior to the departure from Columbus. He never visually inspected the fuel tanks to determine the quantity of fuel. The pilot reported that he was about 5 miles from the Burlington Airport when the right engine quit. He suspected that the engine quit due to fuel exhaustion, so he set up to land on a paved road. As he entered a left downwind for the landing, the left engine quit. During the forced landing attempt, the aircraft collided with transmission wires. The aircraft then came to rest in a wooded area.

An airworthiness inspector from the Federal Aviation Administration reported that the main and auxiliary fuel cells were ruptured during the impact. He found no evidence of residual fuel in the cells, or on the ground where the aircraft came to rest.

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