Fuel exhaustion Accident Piper PA-22-160 N9227D,
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220790
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:Sunday 13 January 2019
Time:11:45 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic PA22 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-22-160
Registration: N9227D
MSN: 22-6287
Year of manufacture:1958
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Mohave County SE of Kingman, AZ -   United States of America
Phase: Standing
Departure airport:Kingman Airport, AZ (IGM/KIGM)
Destination airport:Glendale, AZ (GEU)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The student pilot was conducting a cross-country flight with one passenger onboard. According to the passenger's sister, at 1001, her sister sent her a text, which stated that she and the pilot had taken off and were heading to an airport about 50 miles to the south to obtain fuel. The investigation was unable to determine whether the pilot obtained fuel at this airport. At 1038, while at the second airport, the passenger telephoned a relative and stated that they would take off shortly for the destination airport.
Although the actual departure time from the second airport could not be determined, the sister stated that she expected the airplane to arrive at the destination airport about 1130. By 1215, the sister called the local Sheriff's Office and search and rescue to locate the airplane because it was overdue. First responders found the airplane, which had impacted trees and came to rest inverted in a ravine in a park about 10 miles south of the second airport. The pilot was seriously injured, and the passenger was fatally injured. The pilot reported to the first responders that the airplane experienced an electrical failure and he tried to turn around, however the engine lost power.
Almost all the airplane components remained attached to the wreckage. The propeller damage signatures were consistent with a complete lack of engine power at impact. Examination of the airframe, engine, and propeller revealed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation.

First responders did not note the presence of any fuel on scene. The airplane was equipped with two separate fuel tanks, one in each wing. Each tank had a dedicated filler neck with a removable cap. Neither fuel cap was found at the accident site or in the recovered wreckage. There was no evidence of the caps being installed at impact.
The wreckage evidence was consistent with a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion. The absence of the fuel caps likely resulted in the fuel being siphoned overboard during flight. Aside from the absence of fuel caps and fuel, no evidence was found of any other preimpact mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that, when the pilot stopped at the second airport to obtain fuel, he did not put the fuel caps back on the airplane; whether he actually obtained fuel or not could not be determined because it was likely all siphoned out during the flight.

The pilot was hospitalized for several days, and a review the pilot's postaccident hospital records revealed that he had diabetes and used an insulin pump, which was corroborated by a review of his previous medical records. However, insufficient evidence was found to determine whether the pilot was impaired due to diabetic complications at the time of the accident. Thus, whether the pilot's diabetes or some other medical factor contributed to the accident could not be determined. Several attempts were made to obtain a statement from the pilot however he refused to provide any information to the investigation.

Probable Cause: The student pilot's failure to secure the fuel caps, which led to the fuel being siphoned overboard, fuel exhaustion, and the total loss of engine power.


FAA register: https://registry.faa.gov/aircraftinquiry/NNum_Results.aspx?NNumbertxt=9227D


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: WPR19LA063
Status: Investigation completed
Download report: Final report



Photo: Mohave County Sheriff Office

Revision history:

13-Jan-2019 23:47 Geno Added
14-Jan-2019 17:29 Iceman 29 Updated [Source, Embed code, Damage]
14-Jan-2019 19:44 harro Updated [Photo]
14-Jan-2019 19:45 harro Updated [Aircraft type]
16-Jan-2019 18:11 Captain Adam Updated [Aircraft type, Registration, Cn, Operator, Nature, Source]
03-Feb-2019 14:20 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
31-Mar-2021 13:55 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Other fatalities, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Damage, Narrative, Category, Accident report]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

The Aviation Safety Network is an exclusive service provided by:
Quick Links:

CONNECT WITH US: FSF on social media FSF Facebook FSF Twitter FSF Youtube FSF LinkedIn FSF Instagram

©2023 Flight Safety Foundation

1920 Ballenger Av, 4th Fl.
Alexandria, Virginia 22314