CHI01LA009
CHI01LA009

On October 11, 2000, about 2138 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-140, N732FL, piloted by a commercial pilot, sustained substantial damage on impact with trees and terrain during a forced landing after the pilot declared he was out of fuel near Lansing, Michigan. The flight was operating under 14 CFR Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. No flight plan was on file. The pilot was seriously injured and the passenger sustained minor injuries. The flight originated from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, near Avoca, Pennsylvania, about 1701 and was destined for Capital City Airport, near Lansing, Michigan.

The pilot stated, "Departed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport at 5:01P after refueling. Visually checked fuel level prior to departure for Lansing. ... Fuel starvation occurred east of LAN after 4 hrs and 35 min of flight (approx) and impact 4 1/2 mi east of destination. ... I slowed the aircraft and applied flaps. I headed for a dark area on the ground and impacted trees."

Federal Aviation Administration inspectors performed an on-scene examination of the wreckage. An inspector stated, "An on scene investigation of the aircraft was conducted as well as an inspection of the engine after recovery of the aircraft. No abnormalities were noted other than there was no fuel in either tank or any evidence of fuel at the scene. In the interview with [the pilot], he stated that he ran out of fuel and the engine stopped. ... He stated that he used flight following for the entire flight." The pilot stated that he "figured 9 gal/hr for cruise, leaned 75% at roughly 2500rpm. ... Pilot stated that he probably miscalculated winds."

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