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The pilot was flying at 1500 feet above ground level with the fuel selector set for the right fuel tank when the engine stopped. The right fuel gauge was reading near empty but the reading was fluctuating due to gusty inflight weather conditions. The left tank had already been run dry in an effort to achieve maximum endurance. Based on past fuel burn off rates and elapse time since the last refuel, the pilot believed that his 45 minute fixed reserve was still available despite the low fuel gauge reading. When the engine stopped the pilot selected the boost pump on. The engine restarted for a few seconds before stopping again. He turned the aircraft to the most suitable paddocks where he became committed to a downwind forced landing. During the landing roll the right flap was damaged by a steel fence post. After the landing the pilot saw fuel stains on the left wing near the fuel cap. Fuel had vented overboard in flight past a faulty fuel cap seal.

Download Final Report
[ Download PDF: 22KB]
 
 
 
 
General details
Date: 26 December 1989 Investigation status: Completed 
Time: 2020 Investigation type: Occurrence Investigation 
Location:5 km NE of Bendigo  
State: Victoria  
Release date: 18 July 1990 Occurrence category: Accident 
Report status: Final Highest injury level: None 
 
Aircraft details
Aircraft manufacturer: Piper Aircraft Corp 
Aircraft model: PA-28 
Aircraft registration: VH-WRH 
Serial number: 28-2248 
Type of operation: Private 
Damage to aircraft: Substantial 
Departure point:Narrandera NSW
Departure time:1820
Destination:Bendigo VIC
 
 
 
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