WPR09LA046
WPR09LA046

On November 25, 2008, about 1745 Pacific standard time, a Piper PA-28-180 airplane, N2383R, was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and subsequently terrain following a loss of engine power while on final approach to the Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), Monterey, California. The airplane was registered to private individuals and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and his passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the personal flight. The cross-country flight originated from Calexico International Airport (CXL), Calexico, California, about 1430 with an intended destination of MRY.

The pilot reported that after an uneventful flight, he entered the traffic pattern for runway 10 left. As he turned from downwind to base at an altitude of about 800 feet above ground level (agl), the engine lost power. The pilot stated that he realized he "had forgotten to switch the fuel tanks and had run the right fuel tank dry." He immediately switched to the left fuel tank and noted that he already had the fuel boost pump on in anticipation for landing. Despite his efforts, the engine did not restart and the airplane descended into trees and subsequently impacted the ground.

The pilot further reported that prior to departure from CXL; he had topped off the airplane with fuel in Mexicali, Mexico. He then flew 15 minutes to CXL where he underwent an inspection by the US Customs and Border Protection for re-entry into the United States.

The pilot added in the Operator/Owner Safety Recommendation section of the Pilot/Operator Aircraft Accident Report Form, "if I had used my landing checklist, I would have not run the right tank dry because I would have turned to the fullest tank for landing."

Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector revealed that the airplane came to rest in a vertical position within a parking lot. The right wing was partially separated from the fuselage and exhibited structural damage. The horizontal stabilator was also structurally damaged. During removal of the airplane, recovery crews reported that they drained 24 ounces of fuel from the left wing fuel tank and 8 ounces of fuel from the right wing fuel tank.

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