Monday, June 12, 2017

Piper PA-25-260, N8578L, Hood River Soaring: Accident occurred June 11, 2017 in Hood River County, Oregon

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Hood River Soaring:

NTSB Identification: GAA17CA331

14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 11, 2017 in Hood River, OR
Aircraft: PIPER PA25, registration: N8578L
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The glider tow pilot reported that, during preflight the fuel indicator read "2/3 full" and he had a "brief discussion" with the previous pilot who had just completed numerous glider tow flights, without refueling. He added that a fuel "dipstick" was not available, and a visual check of the fuel quantity was not complete during preflight. He further added that on the 10th glider tow flight, which was about 2 hours of flight time, he noted a "low fuel indication in flight just prior to glider release." Subsequently, the glider released and during the return to the airport, about 2 nautical miles from the runway, about 1,900 above ground, the engine lost power.

The pilot reported that due to the quartering headwind aloft he did not believe he could make the runway, so he attempted to land on an open pasture, but struck trees and impacted terrain about "50 yards short of [the] pasture."

The fuselage, elevator, and both wings sustained substantial damage.

The pilot reported that there were no preaccident mechanical malfunctions or failures with the airplane that would have precluded normal operation.

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