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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 204339
Last updated: 2 May 2021
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Type:Silhouette image of generic P28B model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-28-236 Dakota
Registration: N4345K
MSN: 28-8411012
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge, Johnston County, OK -   United States of America
Phase: Landing
Departure airport:Hot Springs, AR (HOT)
Destination airport:Ardmore, OK (1F0)
Investigating agency: NTSB
The private pilot departed on a cross-country flight; he reported that 35 to 40 gallons of fuel were in the airplane’s fuel tanks for a flight that he thought would require 20 gallons of fuel. As the airplane was nearing the destination, the pilot was concerned about the fuel level in the left tank because the fuel gauge indicated that the tank was between one-quarter full and empty and no fuel remained in the right tank, which the pilot had intentionally run dry. The pilot elected to divert to ensure that the airplane would have adequate fuel to complete the flight to the destination. Upon landing at the diversion airpark, the pilot learned that the airpark had no fuel. The pilot subsequently took off from the airpark, and the airplane reached an altitude of about 1,500 ft above ground level when the engine “sputtered.” The pilot attempted to return to the airpark, but the airplane could not clear the trees in the area. The pilot attempted a forced landing, but the airplane impacted the trees and subsequently impacted terrain. The airplane was in an inverted position at the time of impact.
The pilot reported that the left tank “apparently goes empty somewhere prior to the E [empty] on the fuel gauge.” However, the pilot did not mention whether he visually checked the amount of fuel before leaving the diversion airpark. Thus, the pilot likely departed without sufficient fuel on board to complete the flight to another diversion airpark. Further, the fuel amount was lower than the pilot expected during the flight, which was consistent with poor preflight fuel planning and in-flight fuel monitoring.

Probable Cause: The pilot’s inadequate preflight fuel planning and in-flight fuel monitoring and his decision to take off with an unverified amount of fuel, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent impact with trees during an attempted forced landing.


FAA register:

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 10 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

14-Jan-2018 01:27 Geno Added
14-Jan-2018 13:21 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code]
14-Jan-2018 13:50 Iceman 29 Updated [Embed code, Photo, ]
14-Jan-2018 17:07 Geno Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Source]
19-Jan-2018 01:40 Geno Updated [Time, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
28-Nov-2018 14:46 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative, Accident report, ]

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