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N36691 accident description

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Crash location 38.726667°N, 90.508056°W
Nearest city St. Charles, MO
38.787649°N, 90.515806°W
4.2 miles away
Tail number N36691
Accident date 08 Apr 2005
Aircraft type Piper PA-32RT-300
Additional details: None

NTSB Factual Report

On April 8, 2005, at 1645 central daylight time, a Piper PA-32RT-300, N36691, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a field near St. Charles, Missouri, after a loss of engine power. The pilot was not injured. The CFR Part 91 personal flight departed the Roy Otten Memorial Airfield (3VS), Versailles, Missouri, at 1600, and was en route to Creve Coeur Airport (1H0), St. Louis, Missouri. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. No flight plan was filed.

The pilot reported that the flight departed 3VS with about 36 gallons of fuel in the left tank and 14 gallons of fuel in the right tank. While approaching 1H0, the pilot contacted the Spirit of St. Louis (SUS) tower to obtain a flight clearance through the SUS class D airspace and for traffic avoidance. The pilot reported that immediately after clearing the class D airspace, the engine lost power. The pilot reported, "At this point I was at 1,500 feet flying over houses and in concentration of finding an emergency landing site and maintaining airspeed control and turning to line up with [the] field, I apparently did not have time to analyze the cause of the power loss." The pilot landed in a field about four miles west of 1H0.

The inspection of the airplane revealed that the fuel selector was on the right fuel tank. The right fuel tank was empty and the left fuel tank was full. The inspection revealed that the airplane struck trees on its final approach to landing in a field located in a suburban area.

NTSB Probable Cause

The pilot's inadequate in-flight planning/decision by his failure to switch fuel tanks which resulted in fuel starvation and the loss of engine power. A factor was the trees.

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