CHI00LA156
CHI00LA156

On June 9, 2000, at 1315 eastern standard time, a Piper PA-28-181, serial number 2843154, N4142F, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage during impact with terrain while executing a force landing following a complete loss of engine power while on approach to the Greenwood Municipal Airport (HFY), Indianapolis, Indiana. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was operating under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91 and was not operating on a flight plan. The pilot reported no injuries. The flight departed the Waukegan Regional Airport, Waukegan, Illinois, at 1130, and had the intended destination of HFY.

According a written statement provided by the pilot, the proposed flight was to depart HFY, fly to Waukegan Regional Airport (UGN), Waukegan, Illinois, and return to HFY. The pilot reported that he had planned on burning 10-gallons per hour, from which he calculated an endurance of 4-hours 48-minutes. The pilot stated that his initial departure, from HFY, was at 0910 and landed at UGN at 1100. The pilot reported that he departed UGN for the return flight to HFY at 1130. The pilot stated that used an additional 10-minutes of fuel during taxi and run-up operations prior to his departure from UGN. The accident time, as listed by the pilot, was 1315. The total duration of the trip, as recorded by the pilot's global positioning system unit, was 3-hours 52-minutes. The aircraft's HOBBS meter indicated that 3.9-hours had elapsed from the initial departure from HFY. The pilot indicated that his engine cruise setting was 2,350 rpm and that he had leaned the mixture when at cruising altitude.

The pilot reported that during the flight, approximately 10-nautical miles north of HFY, "The engine quit and there was nothing below but houses and buildings." The pilot continued, "Both fuel gauges read empty. I switched to the right tank and restarted the engine. I held my altitude and made it to four miles north of the field [HFY] when the engine died again. I switched back to the left tank and was able to restart again. I was holding my altitude and my I.A.S [indicated airspeed] was 108 knots. I flew within 2.5 miles of the airport [HFY] when the engine died a 3rd time. I was able to restart the engine again on the right tank but only for a few seconds when the engine sputtered and quit for good. At this point I was 2 miles north on a long final for runway 19."

The pilot stated that he executed a forced landing, but was unable to reach runway 19 and impacted the airport perimeter fence during the approach.

The pilot reported that he first experienced engine power interruptions approximately 10-miles north of the destination airport. There was an airport, Post-Air Airport (7L8), Indianapolis, Indiana, located 028.4 degrees-magnetic from the destination airport at a distance of 8.1-nautical miles.

According to the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH), for PA-28-181 aircraft having serial numbers 2843001 and higher, the fuel flow was listed as 9.5 gallons/hour for a power setting of 65-percent of maximum power. The POH lists the maximum useable fuel capacity as 48-gallons. Utilizing 48-gallons of useable fuel and a flight time of 3.9-hours results in a calculated fuel flow of approximately 12.307 gallons/hour.

Copies of the above mentioned POH references and figures are appended to this factual report.

Post-accident investigation failed to find any fuel in the fuel strainer bowl, fuel line leading to the carburetor, or fuel filter located on the electric fuel pump.

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