February 11, 2009, Pittstown, N.J., Piper PA-28-180


The airplane lost total engine power during the initial climb and collided with trees and the ground at 1642 Eastern time, sustaining structural damage to the airframe. Visual conditions prevailed. The commercial pilot received serious injuries; the pilot-rated passenger in the left front seat received minor injuries.

During initial takeoff climb, the fuel pressure gauge indicated zero. The engine sputtered and quit, and the pilot-rated passenger selected a forced landing area. The engine then started, and the pilot-rated passenger started a shallow turn back to the airport. The engine quit again and the pilot-rated passenger leveled the airplane.


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