November 25, 2008, Monterey, Calif., Piper PA-28-180


At about 1757 Pacific time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted trees and terrain following a loss of engine power while on final approach. The private pilot sustained minor injuries and his passenger sustained serious injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.

The pilot reported that after an uneventful flight, he entered the traffic pattern for runway 10 left. As he turned from base leg to final, the engine lost power. The pilot stated that he realized that he “ran the right fuel tank out of fuel” and immediately switched to the left fuel tank and turned on the electric fuel boost pump. Despite his efforts, the engine did not restart and the airplane descended into trees and subsequently impacted the ground. Recovery crews reported that they drained 24 ounces of fuel from the left wing fuel tank and eight ounces of fuel from the right wing fuel tank.


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