Petaluma Municipal Airport
Aircraft Accident/Incident Report

Petaluma, California 94954
Saturday, September 17, 2005 14:20 PDT

NTSB Narrative Summary Released at Completion of Accident

The airplane collided with a fence during a forced landing following a loss of engine power. The pilot reported that he flew on the left fuel tank for start-up, taxi, and takeoff. After reaching his cruise altitude of 8,500 feet, he switched to the right fuel tank approximately 45 minutes into the flight. When the right fuel gauge was indicating "zero," the pilot switched back to the left fuel tank while making stair step descents to his final destination. About 4 miles north of the accident location and 18 miles south of his destination, the engine began sputtering and he switched the fuel selector to the right tank and turned on the electric fuel pump. The engine started to run normally, but the fuel indicator on the left tank was reading over 5 gallons and the right tank was indicating zero gallons. He immediately reversed course toward an airport he had just overflown and planned to land on runway 11. Due to a departing airplane on runway 29, the pilot maneuvered to land on runway 29 and entered the downwind leg of the traffic pattern. As he entered downwind, the engine began sputtering again and then lost power. The pilot attempted to land on runway 29 and made s-turns to dissipate the excessive altitude in order to make the runway. Prior to touching down, the pilot extended two notches of flaps. Upon touchdown, he applied the brakes but the airplane overran the runway, went through a fence, and came to rest on a golf course. The airport manager immediately responded to the accident site and found that there was no fuel in the fuel tanks or on the ground. About 1 ounce of clean fuel was found in the gascolator. Using the fuel flow for 75 percent best power from the performance charts in the aircraft flight manual for the trip elapsed time, including the allowances for takeoff and climb fuel burn, yields a total fuel consumption of 49.25 gallons. The airplane's usable fuel is 48 gallons.

NTSB Probable Cause Narrative

a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Event Information

Type of Event Accident
Event Date 9/17/2005
Event Day of the Week Saturday
Time of Event 1420
Event Time Zone Pacific Daylight Time
Event City Petaluma
Event Country --
Zipcode of the event site 94954
Event Date Year 2005
Event Date Month 9
MidAir Collision Indicator No
On Ground Collision occurred ? No
Event Location Latitude 381528N
Event Location Longitude 1223619W
Event Location Airport Petaluma Municipal
Event Location Nearest Airport ID O96
Indicates whether the acc/inc occurred off or on an airport On Airport
Distance from airport in statute miles 0.25
Degrees magnetic from airport --
Airport Elevation --
Weather Briefing Completeness --
Investigator's weather source Pilot
Time of the weather observation
Direction of event from weather observation facility (degrees) --
Weather Observation Facility ID --
Elevation of weather observation facility --
Distance of event from weather observation facility (units?) --
Time Zone of the weather observation --
Lighting Conditions Day
Lowest Ceiling Height --
Lowest Non-Ceiling Height --
Sky/Lowest/Cloud Conditions Clear
Sky Condition for Lowest Ceiling None
Visibility Runway Visual Range (Feet) --
Visibility Runway Visual Value (Statute Miles) --
Visibility (Statute Miles) 10
Air Temperature at event time (in degrees celsius) 25
Dew Point at event time (in degress fahrenheit) --
Wind Direction (degrees magnetic) --
Variable Wind Indicator --
Wind Speed (knots) --
Wind Velocity Indicator Calm
Wind Gust Indicator Not Gusting
Wind Gust (knots) --
Altimeter Setting at event time (in. Hg) --
Density Altitude (feet) --
Intensity of Precipitation --
METAR weather report --
Event Highest Injury None
On Ground, Fatal Injuries --
On Ground, Minor Injuries --
On Ground, Serious Injuries --
Injury Total Fatal --
Injury Total Minor --
Injury Total None 2
Injury Total Serious --
Injury Total All --
Investigating Agency NTSB
NTSB Docket Number (internal use) 19024
NTSB Notification Source FAA
NTSB Notification Date --
NTSB Notification Time --
Fiche Number and/or location -used to find docket information DMS
Date of most recent change to record Jan 31 2006 7:35AM
User who most recently changed record NTSB\JOHB
Basic weather conditions Visual Meteorological Cond
FAA District Office --

Aircraft Involved

Aircraft #1

Aircraft Registration Number N8103X
NTSB Number LAX05CA301
Missing Aircraft Indicator --
Federal Aviation Reg. Part Part 91: General Aviation
Type of Flight Plan filed None
Flight plan Was Activated? --
Damage Substantial
Aircraft Fire None
Aircraft Explosion --
Aircraft Manufacturer's Full Name Piper
Aircraft Model PA 28-181
Aircraft Series Identifier --
Aircraft Serial Number 28-8090119
Certified Max Gross Weight --
Aircraft Category Airplane
Aircraft Registration Class --
Aircraft is a homebuilt? No
Flight Crew Seats --
Cabin Crew Seats --
Passenger Seats --
Total number of seats on the aircraft --
Number of Engines 1
Fixed gear or retractable gear Fixed
Aircraft, Type of Last Inspection --
Date of Last Inspection --
Airframe hours since last inspection --
Airframe Hours --
ELT Installed --
ELT Activated --
ELT Aided Location of Event Site --
ELT Type --
Aircraft Owner Name Air Desert Pacific
Aircraft Owner Street Address --
Aircraft Owner City --
Aircraft Owner State --
Aircraft Owner Country --
Aircraft Owner Zipcode --
Operator is an individual? No
Operator Name Air Desert Pacific
Operator Same as Owner? No
Operator Is Doing Business As --
Operator Address Same as Owner? No
Operator Street Address --
Operator City La Verne
Operator State CA
Operator Country USA
Operator Zip code --
Operator Code --
Owner has at least one certificate None
Other Operator of large aircraft? --
Certified for Part 133 or 137 Operation --
Operator Certificate Number --
Indicates whether an air carrier operation was scheduled or not --
Indicates Domestic or International Flight --
Operator carrying Pax/Cargo/Mail --
Type of Flying (Per_Bus / Primary) Personal
Second Pilot on Board No
Departure Point Same as Event No
Departure Airport Code POC
Departure City La Verne
Departure State CA
Departure Country USA
Departure Time --
Departure Time Zone --
Destination Same as Local Flt --
Destination Airport Code STS
Destination City Santa Rosa
Destination State CA
Destination Country USA
Specific Phase of Flight --
Report sent to ICAO? --
Evacuation occurred --
Date of most recent change to record Oct 13 2005 5:25PM
User who most recently changed record COOS
Since inspection or accident --
Event Location Runway Number and Location 29
Runway Length 3600
Runway Width 75
Sight Seeing flight No
Air Medical Flight No
Medical Flight --