Saturday, January 29, 2022

Piper PA-16 Clipper, N5656H: Accident occurred September 25, 2021 in Greensboro, Greene County, Georgia

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Atlanta, Georgia

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Greensboro, Georgia
Accident Number: ERA21LA392
Date and Time: September 25, 2021, 10:30 Local 
Registration: N5656H
Aircraft: Piper PA-16 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper
Registration: N5656H
Model/Series: PA-16 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KATL, 25 ft msl
Observation Time: 10:35 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 66 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C /13°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Scattered / 20000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots / , 280°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 25000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Mount Olive, NC (W40) 
Destination: La Porte, TX (T41)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 33.575935,-83.182625 (est)


  1. PICs pre-flight "confirmed both wing tanks full" of fuel. Thus with a "Useful fuel, std. (gals.): 36" and a "Fuel Burn @ 75%: 6.1 GPH" equals an expected 6 flight hours. Post accident check confirmed both wing tanks empty. Go figure!

  2. Because you didn't stick your fuel tanks? I'm also guessing this model doesn't have fuel gages and he didn't inspect the fuel receipt? Lots,of broken links in the safety chain

  3. No mystery at all. "He said that his friend put the fuel in the tanks and doesn’t believe he filled it up. I asked did he have the fuel receipt from his friend, and he said he did not."

    Have to expect fuel exhaustion events from poor discipline like this.

  4. "did a preflight and got a step 'latter' to confirm the tanks were full".
    Must have been a fuel leak which started after becoming airborne.