The pilot stated that he calculated that the Piper PA 24-250 had sufficient fuel on board for about 90 minutes of flight; he estimated that the flight to his intended destination would take about 70 minutes.
The flight encountered weather as it approached its destination, so he decided to circle the area until the weather cleared.
Once the weather cleared, he lined up the airplane on final approach for the runway to the airport in Berrien Springs, Michigan.
The pilot stated that, about four miles from the runway, the plane experienced a total loss of engine power because it ran out of fuel.
During the subsequent forced landing, the plane impacted trees and terrain, causing serious injuries to four people.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s inadequate fuel planning, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.
NTSB Identification: CEN15LA064
This November 2014 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.