Fatal Oklahoma plane crash caused by lack of fuel, safety board says

Published: June 16, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says a fatal airplane crash near Guthrie last year occurred because the aircraft ran out of fuel.

According to a probable cause report released Thursday, the Piper PA28 flown by Darrell Smittle was fueled to the capacity for a trip to Gaston's Resort in Lakeview, Ark., but wasn't filled up for the return flight.

Investigators say as the plane headed for Oklahoma on Oct. 16, the engine lost power and the aircraft collided with electric power lines and hit a storage shed in a residential area.

Smittle died in the accident, but his son, Darrell Stewart Smittle, and 11-year-old grandson, Joshua, survived.

The plane was in the air about 3 hours and 15 minutes en route to Arkansas and about three hours as it returned.


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