Fuel exhaustion Accident Piper PA-28-181 N35681,
ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 292693
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:Friday 13 January 2006
Time:13:40 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic P28A model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Piper PA-28-181
Registration: N35681
MSN: 28-8090192
Year of manufacture:1979
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Substantial
Location:Brookings, Oregon -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Departure airport:Seattle-Boeing Field International Airport, WA (BFI/KBFI)
Destination airport:Redding Airport, CA (RDD/KRDD)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
The pilot reported that he had obtained a weather briefing prior to departure and noted headwinds for the route of flight. The pilot calculated fuel endurance via the pilot operating handbook for cruise flight and utilizing a 65% power setting. The intended route of flight was estimated to take four hours and 30 minutes. The pilot reported that the manual indicated that for this power setting, the aircraft was capable of five hours and 15 minutes with a 45 minute reserve. While en route, the headwind was higher than the pilot expected. The pilot opted to divert to the southwest in an attempt to increase the airspeed. An altitude increase by several thousand feet was necessary for terrain clearance. The airspeed did not increase and the pilot opted to divert to another airport for landing as the flight now approached four hours with an estimated 45 minutes to an hour to go. While en route to the alternate airport, the engine rpm started to decrease at about four hours and 25 minutes into the flight. The pilot reported the emergency to air traffic control and set-up for an off-airport landing. When the pilot broke out of the cloud layer, he noted that he would not make the airport and performed a landing to a creek. During the descent, the aircraft collided with trees before coming to rest in the creek bed. During the wreckage recovery, the wing fuel tanks were intact. Approximately three gallons for fuel were drained from the fuel system. The engine was later prepared for an engine run. The engine was started and ran with no anomalies noted.

Probable Cause: The pilot's inadequate in flight decision by failing to refuel while en route, resulting in fuel exhaustion and the loss of engine power. Trees and no suitable terrain for the landing were factors.

Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: NTSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 8 months
Download report: Final report



Revision history:

09-Oct-2022 07:49 ASN Update Bot Added

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

©2024 Flight Safety Foundation

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