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During the preflight inspection, the pilot dipped the fuel tanks and noted that the left tank contained 25 litres and the right tank approximately 30 litres. The aircraft was taxied out to the run-up area using fuel from the left tank. Before the run-up, the pilot switched the fuel selector lever to the right tank and left it there for the takeoff and remainder of the flight. The pilot decided to finish the flight with a touch-and-go landing followed by a final circuit. Following the normal application of full power for takeoff, the aircraft climbed to 100 - 250 feet above the ground when the engine surged and lost all power. The pilot chose a football field straight ahead and made a successful touchdown. However, he became so engrossed with missing objects and steering the aircraft that he forgot to use the brakes effectively. The aircraft ran on and struck two goal posts and a tree before coming to rest against a security fence. The two occupants exited without injury. The engine had failed due to fuel starvation when all the usable fuel from the right fuel tank had been consumed.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 23KB]
General details
Date: 21 April 1988 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 1329  
Location:Archerfield Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
State: Queensland  
Release date: 26 October 1988  
Report status: Final Occurrence category: Accident 
 Highest injury level: None 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-38 
Aircraft registration: VH-JAM 
Serial number: 38-82A0078 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Archerfield QLD
Departure time:1232
Destination:Archerfield QLD
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