On June 20, 1993, at 1958 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-38-112, N9539T, collided with a drainage culvert during a forced landing on a road near Camarillo, California. The forced landing was precipitated by a complete loss of engine power while in cruise flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the operation. The aircraft incurred substantial damage. Neither the certificated private pilot nor the one passenger on board were injured. The flight originated at Redding, California, on the day of the mishap at 1535 hours as a cross country personal flight to Van Nuys, California.

In a telephone interview, the pilot stated that both fuel tanks were filled just prior to departure from Redding on the planned four hour flight to Van Nuys. The pilot said that she visually looked inside the fuel tanks and confirmed that they were filled to capacity. The pilot said the flight manual for the aircraft listed a five hour range on the aircraft and that she planned her flight time at four hours. The pilot said that about three hours and fifty minutes into the flight the engine quit. The pilot noted that with the assistance of Point Mugu Radar Approach Control she was able to descend below a broken cloud layer and landed on a road. The aircraft collided with a drainage culvert during the roll out.

A review was conducted of the air to ground communications tapes at the Redding, California, FAA Air Traffic Control Tower. According to the tapes, the aircraft received a takeoff clearance at 1535 hours. The last radio contact with the aircraft was recorded by the air traffic facility at the Point Mugu Naval Air Station at 1958 hours. Comparison of the documented times between takeoff and the accident yields a total elapsed flight time of four hours and twenty three minutes.

An FAA airworthiness inspector from the Van Nuys, California, Flight Standards District Office examined the aircraft at the accident site. He reported that he found only residual fuel in the fuel system. After retrieval from the accident site, the engine and fuel system were examined by a Safety Board investigator who reported finding no discrepancies.

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