NTSB Identification: ATL96LA001.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 01, 1995 in SAVANNAH, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/11/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N9553H
Injuries: 2 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.

After requesting fuel availability for various airport's from Savannah Approach Control, the pilot declared an emergency and landed at the Hunter Army Air Field. After landing, he taxied to a remote part of the airport and removed hand made fuel lines connecting three six gallon tanks to the left wing tank. These additional tanks were stored where the rear seat had been installed. The pilot did not refuel the aircraft prior to takeoff, and after departure, the engine began to run rough. He elected to execute a precautionary landing along Savannah's Highway 516, where the aircraft collided with a road sign. The pilot then lost control, and the aircraft skidded into a guard rail and flipped over. Two pilots were aboard the aircraft. Both repeatedly changed their stories concerning who they were, and what transpired prior to the accident. An FAA examiner stated that there was approximately fifteen gallons of automotive fuel in the aircraft's right wing, and no fuel in the left wing. He also stated that the aircraft appeared to have been configured for transportation of unauthorized material.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

The pilot's selection of unsuitable terrain for a precautionary landing, and his failure to maintain clearance from an obstacle (road sign) during the landing.

Full narrative available

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