Preliminary Accident Reports

April 2002 Issue

January 14, Groveland, Calif. / Piper Cherokee 180

At about 14:50 Pacific time, a Piper PA-28-180 was damaged during a forced landing brought on by imminent fuel exhaustion. The pilot was seriously injured. The pilot left Truckee at about 09:45 and was destined for Tulare. He was unable to land because of a low stratus layer, so he diverted to Pine Mountain Lake and landed. He called the Tulare airport and was told the ceiling was 1,500 to 2,000 feet, so he again tried to fly to Tulare. He could not descend through the clouds, so he returned to Pine Mountain Lake, only to find it covered with a stratus layer. The pilot realized he was too low on fuel to reach an airport in VMC and contacted Oakland Center for help. The pilot was unable to fi...

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