December 08, Scottsdale, Ariz. / Piper Warrior


At 2027 mountain time, a Piper PA-28-161 lost power on initial climb from Scottsdale Airport and crashed into a restaurant parking lot. The pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries. The flight originated at Mesa, Ariz., at 1815 and flew to Tucson. The return flight was to include a touch and go in Scottsdale and return to Mesa. He landed in Tucson and started the return leg without shutting down. On the takeoff out of Scottsdale, the airplane reached about 300 feet agl and the engine sputtered and quit. No fuel was found on the aircraft. The pilot reported that, before he departed, the fuel level was at or slightly below the tabs, which would be about 34 gallons. The operators policy is to refuel airplanes to the tabs after every flight unless the next pilot requests more. The accident flight operated for 2.3 hours since engine start at Mesa. A review of the operators fueling records showed the airplane was refueled after its first flight of the day but not after a 2.4-hour flight just before the accident flight. A fuel truck operator said he asked the accident pilot just before departure if he needed fuel, but was told no.


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