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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 39738
Last updated: 26 November 2021
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Date:27-AUG-1996
Time:10:20
Type:Silhouette image of generic P32T model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Piper PA-32RT-300
Owner/operator:Boss Rocket Aviation
Registration: N741RB
MSN: 32R-7985037
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 3
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Category:Accident
Location:Lagrange, GA -   United States of America
Phase: Unknown
Nature:Private
Departure airport:Dothan, AL (DHN)
Destination airport:Hampton, GA (4A7)
Investigating agency: NTSB
Narrative:
The pilot reported that he was VFR and had 'gotten into IFR conditions.' He was instructed to maintain VFR at all times. The pilot subsequently continued his own navigation and changed radio frequencies. Within minutes the pilot radioed a mayday call and radio communications were lost. Ground witnesses reported that the airplane's engine was backfiring and sputtering. The airplane was seen at a low altitude, in a left bank, when the left wing struck a tree (discolored foliage was observed near the tree). Examination of the wreckage revealed that the left fuel tank was breached, and no fuel was observed in the tank. The right fuel tank was not breached, and less then 1/2 gallon of fuel was drained from the tank. The fuel selector was found on the 'right' tank, and the electric fuel pump switch was found in the 'OFF' position. The last known fueling of the airplane was on 8/26, with 50 gallons of fuel. Total fuel in the airplane at that point was unknown. According to Hobbs meter readings, a total of 6.1 hours were flown on the airplane from the time it departed until the crash. The PA-32RT-300, had a total fuel capacity of 98 gallons, of which 94 gallons were usable fuel, and the airplane burned 18 gallons per hour of fuel at a power setting of 75 percent. At 75 percent power the airplane cruised at 155 knots. Calculating the distances for the different flight segments, the total flight time would have been 3 hours 50 minutes, leaving 2 hours and 54 minutes of unknown flight time that was used during the entire trip. Total fuel obtained on the trip, assuming the tanks were full when the airplane departed, was 148 gallons [98+50]. About 87 gallons was used for the flights (not including taxi and climb), from the start to finish, leaving about 61 gallons of fuel that can not be accounted for during the trip. Based on the Hobbs time of 6.1 hours, at a fuel burn rate of 18 gallons per hour, 110 gallons of fuel was consumed, which calculates to about 48 gallons of fuel remaining at the time of impact. The total usable fuel for each tank (2) was 47 gallons. CAUSE: the pilot's improper procedure by not placing the fuel selector on the tank with the most fuel, which resulted in fuel starvation and a forced landing in a pasture. Contributing factors in this accident were the pilot's inadequate pre-flight and in-flight planning, lack of instrument certification, and the pressure imposed on him from flying into adverse weather conditions.

Sources:

NTSB: https://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20001208X06570


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Oct-2008 10:30 ASN archive Added
21-Dec-2016 19:23 ASN Update Bot Updated [Time, Damage, Category, Investigating agency]

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