On March 19, 1997, at 1658 mountain standard time, a Piper PA-28-161 airplane, N2572Y, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Broomfield, Colorado. The student pilot, the sole occupant in the airplane, received minor injuries. The airplane was registered to and operated by Denver Air Center, Inc., under Title 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the solo instructional local flight which originated approximately one hour prior to the accident. No flight plan had been filed.

In a written statement, the student pilot reported that he flew a one hour dual instructional flight to renew his 90 day solo sign off. He then flew a solo flight. The pilot reported that he first left the traffic pattern to practice air-work for an hour, and then he returned to the traffic pattern for more touch-and-go landings. After completing his first "touch-an-go" on runway 29L, on takeoff upwind, at approximately 50 to 75 feet AGL, the engine lost power. The pilot performed a forced landing to a rough and uneven field. The engine separated from the mounts, both main gear penetrated their respective wings, the wings were bent, and the fuselage was twisted.

Examination of the fuel truck log, for truck pump number "AV Truck #2", revealed that 24.3 gallons of fuel had been delivered to N2572Y on the morning of March 19, 1997. Examination of the aircraft log, for airplane N2572Y for March 19, 1997, disclosed that the airplane had been flown two times prior to the commencement of the accident flight, for a total time of 2.3 hours since last refueled.

Examination of the airplane's fuel system by an FAA inspector, revealed that the left tank contained no fuel, the right tank contained five to six gallons of fuel and the structural integrity of the right and left fuel tanks were not compromised. The fuel selector was found in the left tank position.

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