NTSB Identification: NYC99LA088.
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Accident occurred Saturday, April 03, 1999 in RAMAPO, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/03/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172XP, registration: N2743V
Injuries: 1 Minor.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
In cruise flight, the student pilot noticed a decrease in fuel pressure. He moved the fuel selector from 'BOTH' to 'RIGHT', and the fuel pressure increased. Several minutes later, the fuel pressure began to decrease again. He moved the fuel selector from 'RIGHT' to 'LEFT', the engine lost all power, and he made an forced landing to a field. The airplane held 52 gallons of useable fuel. The student pilot calculated that he had flown about 4 hours, according to the tachometer, with the mixture leaned to acquire a 10 gallon-per-hour (GPH) fuel consumption rate. According to the his calculations, 90 minutes of fuel should have remained. His calculations did not account for the difference between tachometer time verses the Hobbs meter. He later stated that after reviewing his calculations, he also did not account for fuel consumption during the three takeoffs and climbs during the 4 hour period. Additionally, his certified flight instructor (CFI) stated that he knew the student pilot was planning to conduct a solo cross-country flight on the day of the accident, but did not review the preflight planning, nor did he endorse his student's logbook.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's inaccurate fuel consumption calculations. A factor in the accident was the flight instructor's inadequate supervision of the solo cross-country flight. Full narrative available
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