On November 20, 1993, at 0124 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-140, N420FL, force landed following a reported engine power loss near Maryville, Tennessee. The private pilot was not injured. The aircraft was destroyed. The aircraft was operated by Aviation Training Associates of Sanford, Florida. The flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91. Night, visual meteorological conditions existed at the time, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight to Knoxville, Tennessee. The flight originated in Sanford, Florida, at 1945 on November 19, 1993.

The pilot reported the following: He was descending to land at McGhee-Tyson Airport in Knoxville when the engine quit. He had run extra long on the right fuel tank to keep the left tank as full as possible for landing. He switched to the left tank, but had trouble generating full power. The right tank fuel quantity gauge indicated zero gallons, and the left tank gauge indicated 6 gallons remaining. After rocking the wings, the engine started momentarily, then quit again. Unable to maintain engine power, he force landed the airplane about 3 miles to the east of the McGhee-Tyson Airport.

The aircraft came to rest on the edge of a road, on top of downed power lines. The left wing was separated from, and adjacent to, the main wreckage. Personnel from the Blount County Fire Department reported that there was no evidence of spilled fuel at the accident site. A wrecker service operator recovered the wreckage shortly after the accident. He reported that the severed left wing was found about 10 feet from the main wreckage, and the fuel tank was ruptured. There was no fuel inside the tank, and no evidence of fuel spillage on the ground. The right wing was still attached to the fuselage. There was no evidence of fuel in the right fuel tank, and it was ruptured. There was no evidence of spilled fuel under the right wing. The wrecker service operator reported that he smelled no fuel fumes anywhere at the accident site.

The pilot reported no mechanical problems with the aircraft. According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the aircraft was flown approximately 5.7 hours during the accident flight. The pilot reported that he began the flight with 50 gallons of fuel on board. According to the pilot's operating handbook for this aircraft, the fuel consumption at 75 percent (cruise power) is 8.4 gallons per hour.

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