On July 8, 1993, at 1615 Alaska daylight time, a wheel equipped Piper PA-18-150 airplane, N1ZA, registered to Thomas Wells of Anchorage, Alaska, and operated by the Pilot-in-Command experienced a complete non-mechanical engine power loss just after lift off from the Lake Hood Airstrip, Anchorage, Alaska. The personal flight was departing Lake Hood for a local flight. No flight plan was filed and visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The Pilot-in-Command, the sole occupant, was not injured and the airplane was substantially damaged. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
According to the Pilot-in-Command, he started the engine with the fuel selector positioned on the right fuel tank. After start he switch the fuel selector to the left tank, completed the engine run up and made the take off. Just after lift off the engine lost complete power and he was forced to land on the muskeg inside the airport boundary. The airplane nosed over.
Examination of the airplane showed that the fuel selector was in the off position. The Piper PA-18 fuel selector has a small pointer and a large handle. The point was positioned in the off position and the large handle, the other end, was positioned in the left fuel tank position. The Pilot-in-Command was asked to view the fuel selector handle and state what position or fuel tank was selected. He stated that the fuel selector handle was in the left tank position.
The fire department was interviewed and they stated they did not turn the fuel selector to the off position because no fuel was leaking. They stated they left the controls alone.