On May 3, 1996, at 2205 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N9549J, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Bath, Pennsylvania. The commercial pilot received minor injuries, and the passenger received serious injuries. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight was operated on an Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight plan under 14 CFR Part 91. The flight had departed from Concord, New Hampshire about 1806. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The flight originated at Mr. Washington, New Hampshire, with full tanks, and was destined for Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Due to deteriorating weather shortly after departure, the pilot landed at Concord, New Hampshire, received a weather briefing, and filed an IFR flight plan. The pilot said he had about 36 gallons onboard at departure from Concord. ATC records indicated that the flight departed Concord about 1902.
In the NTSB Accident Report, the pilot stated:
"...After some time flying I realize that the headwind is stronger than when I did my flight planning, but I take action too late. I'm at the time closest to Mr. Pocono Airport, but because of low ceilings and that they don't have a precision approach made me decide to continue to Allentown Intl. I'm getting vectors for ILS 13 when I run out of fuel on one tank. Switches and getting power back. Telling approach to get me straight in and they say I can try ILS back course 24. I do so and are coming out of the clouds at 900 feet with no engine. I tell approach that I have the airport in sight, but won't make it. Get some power for a very short period but not enough to make the airport. I'm going down and I try to land it at a dark spot next to a small road. I'm lucky and hit the top of a bushy tree that slows us down enough to make the impact with mother earth not to hard...."
On site examination by the FAA revealed that the fuel tanks and fuel lines were intact and empty.
The 2151 weather observation at Allentown recorded a ceiling of 900 feet overcast, and visibility of 2 1/2 miles with fog.