Aviation Accident Summaries

Aviation Accident Summary CEN21LA461

Hancock, MN, USA

Aircraft #1


PIPER PA-32-260


The pilot reported that before he departed for a cross country flight, he asked the fuel servicing personnel to fill the left fuel tank. While enroute and burning fuel only from the left tank, the airplane lost all engine power and the pilot executed a forced landing into a field, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing and fuselage. During a post-accident inspection, the left fuel tank was found to be empty. The pilot stated that he assumed all of his fuel tanks were full at the time of departure but did not confirm the fuel level by looking in the tanks or at the fuel gauges. He also stated that his failure to verify the fuel quantity resulted in a fuel exhaustion event when the 6.6 gallons of fuel in the left main tank were consumed. He did not use fuel from the right tank during the flight.

Probable Cause and Findings

A total loss of engine power as a result of fuel starvation. Contributing to the accident was the pilot’s failure to properly manage the fuel on board the airplane and his failure to perform an adequate preflight inspection.


Source: NTSB Aviation Accident Database

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