On July 9, 2007, about 0637 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA-12, N3964M, experienced a total loss of engine power approaching the Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field), near Everett, Washington. The airplane collided with trees in Mukilteo, Washington, and it came to rest approximately 3,000 northwest of runway 16R. The airplane was destroyed, and the private pilot was seriously injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time, and no flight plan had been filed. The pilot owned and operated the airplane. The personal flight was performed under the provisions of 14 CFR Part 91. The flight began from the Stuart Island West Airport, Friday Harbor, Washington, about 0600.

The pilot reported to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator that prior to taking off he had not visually inspected the quantity of fuel in each fuel tank. He stated that his airplane was equipped with two fuel "sight" gauges for use in flight, but they were not particularly accurate.

Approaching the Paine Field the engine lost power, and the pilot made a forced landing. The pilot acknowledged to the Safety Board investigator that he had experienced fuel exhaustion during the flight. He did not indicate having experienced any mechanical malfunction with his airplane during the approximate 60-nautical-mile accident flight.

The pilot's assigned insurance adjuster and his designated airplane recovery agent reported observing only a few ounces of fuel in the accident airplane.

The Safety Board investigator examined the Seattle Sectional Aeronautical Chart. On a near direct flight route between Stuart Island and Paine Field, the airplane would fly past at least three airports, dozens of beaches, and roads.

As of August 10, 2007, the Safety Board's "Aircraft Accident Report Form" 6120.1 has not been received from the pilot.

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