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N8578L accident description

Oregon map... Oregon list
Crash location 45.665000°N, 121.521111°W
Nearest city Hood River, OR
45.705397°N, 121.521462°W
2.8 miles away
Tail number N8578L
Accident date 11 Jun 2017
Aircraft type Piper PA25
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

The glider tow pilot reported that, during preflight the fuel indicator read "2/3 full" and he had a "brief discussion" with the previous pilot who had just completed numerous glider tow flights, without refueling. He added that a fuel "dipstick" was not available, and a visual check of the fuel quantity was not complete during preflight. He further added that on the 10th glider tow flight, which was about 2 hours of flight time, he noted a "low fuel indication in flight just prior to glider release." Subsequently, the glider released and during the return to the airport, about 2 nautical miles from the runway, about 1,900 above ground, the engine lost power.

The pilot reported that due to the quartering headwind aloft he did not believe he could make the runway, so he attempted to land on an open pasture, but struck trees and impacted terrain about "50 yards short of [the] pasture."

The fuselage, elevator, and both wings sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's failure to visually check the fuel level prior to takeoff and subsequent mismanagement of the available fuel supply during numerous glider tow flights.

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