Fuel exhaustion Accident Piper PA-25-260 Pawnee N254AB, 12 Aug 2010
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 76363
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Type:Silhouette image of generic PA25 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-25-260 Pawnee
Owner/operator:Aerial Banners Inc
Registration: N254AB
MSN: 25-7556048
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:St. Petersburg, FL -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Nature:Banner and glider towing
Departure airport:St. Petersburg, FL (SPG)
Destination airport:St. Petersburg, FL (SPG)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
According to the pilot, he departed with the airplane's fuel tank full (75 gallons) for the local banner towing flight. He flew for about 3 hours and 30 minutes and then initiated a return to the airport. During the return flight, at an altitude of approximately 1,000 feet, the airplane's engine lost power. Just prior to the power loss, while the airplane was in a climb, the pilot noted that the fuel gauge indicated 30 gallons of fuel remained. The pilot released the banner and performed a forced landing on a road.

A postaccident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed approximately 8-10 ounces of fuel remained in the single main fuel tank. The main fuel feed line at the bottom of the fuel tank fuel valve contained a few ounces of fuel. The fuel tank was filled with 30 gallons of fuel to test the accuracy of the fuel gauge, which read 33 gallons of fuel. The engine was test run on the airframe. It started and ran at full power with no anomalies noted. According to the airplane's Operating Handbook, the engine burns an average of 14-16 gallons of fuel per hour, at power settings likely used by the pilot. The fueler who fueled the airplane stated that he filled the airplane to a capacity of 68 gallons of fuel, which is what the pilot specifically requested. The examination revealed no evidence of a mechanical malfunction.
Probable Cause: The pilot’s improper fuel management, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 9 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

31 Aug 2014 N254AB Advertising Air Force 1 South of Albert Whitted Airport (KSPG), St Petersburg, Florida sub
Loss of control.
22 Dec 2017 N454AB 0 Biscayne Bay, Miami Beach, FL unk



Photo: FAA

Revision history:

16-Aug-2010 06:38 harro Added
20-Feb-2011 06:37 harro Updated [Source]
21-Dec-2016 19:25 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]
26-Nov-2017 18:04 ASN Update Bot Updated [Operator, Other fatalities, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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