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N238PP accident description

Maine map... Maine list
Crash location 43.646111°N, 70.309167°W
Nearest city Portland, ME
43.661471°N, 70.255326°W
2.9 miles away
Tail number N238PP
Accident date 06 May 2005
Aircraft type Piper PA-28-180
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On May 6, 2005, at 1425 eastern daylight time, a Piper PA-28-180, N238PP, was substantially damaged during a forced landing, after a total loss of power while approaching the Portland International Jetport (PWM), Portland, Maine. The certificated private pilot and passenger received minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and a visual flight rules flight plan was filed for the personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, the flight originated at the Buffalo Airfield (9G0), Buffalo, New York. Prior to the 1100 departure, the fuel tanks were inspected, and the left wing tank was filled to the tab (18-gallons), and the right tank was filled to slightly above the tab.

As the flight neared Portland, the engine sputtered. The pilot immediately turned on the electric fuel pump and switched from the right fuel tank to the left. About 1 to 2 miles from runway 18, the engine again began to sputter, and the pilot prepared for a forced landing. About 1/2-mile from the runway, the engine lost total power. The pilot performed a forced landing to a marsh area, where the airplane came to rest inverted.

A Federal Aviation Administration inspector examined the airplane after the accident and did not observe any fuel remaining in the fuel tanks.

The pilot additionally stated that, "I am amazed at the low quantity of fuel I left in the left tank, the first tank used, when I initially switched tanks about half-way during the flight. There was probably a fraction of a gallon left! Obviously, if I had run the tank completely dry at altitude with only half of the trip complete, I would have realized refueling was necessary en-route."

NTSB Probable Cause

A loss of engine power due to the pilot's improper decision not to land and refuel resulting in fuel exhaustion.

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