June 9, 2007, Jacksonville, Fla., Piper PA-38-112 Tomahawk


At 1700 Eastern time, the airplane was substantially damaged during a forced landing. The Commercial pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual conditions prevailed.

After three touch-and-go landings at a remote airport, the pilot decided to fly over the beach. About five minutes later, the airplanes engine began to “cough and sputter,” and then lost power. The pilot stated he switched fuel tanks from the right to the left tank, turned the boost pump on, and attempted to restart the engine. He then performed a forced landing to the beach. The accident flight was the second flight since the pilot and certified mechanic completed the airplanes annual inspection. Prior to the inspection, the airplane had not flown for 14 years. The airplane was last refueled on the morning of the accident with 20 gallons of fuel, and was then flown for approximately 90 minutes, prior to the accident flight. Examination revealed there were five gallons of fuel in the right fuel tank; the left fuel tank was empty.


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