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Aviation Accident

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NTSB Identification: GAA17CA089
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, December 02, 2016 in Thomson, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/20/2017
Aircraft: PIPER PA 28, registration: N2367R
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot reported that, while on a cross-country flight, he diverted from his destination to a nearby airport due to low fuel. He added that the right fuel tank “went dry” and that the engine lost power on downwind, so he switched to the left fuel tank, and the engine momentarily restarted before it experienced a total power loss of power on base. Subsequently, the airplane impacted the instrument landing system lights, which resulted in substantial damage to both wings.
The pilot reported no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation. He reported that he miscalculated the fuel and “ran out of gas.” A postaccident examination found about 1 cup of fuel in one of the tanks.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
  • The pilot’s improper preflight planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the total loss of engine power.