NTSB Identification: LAX96LA029.
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Accident occurred Sunday, October 29, 1995 in MADERA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA 177RG, registration: N4110C
Injuries: 4 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.

The pilot reported that he was in level cruise when the engine surged several times, then quit. The aircraft was headed toward the Madera airport; however, insufficient altitude remained to reach the runway. The pilot made a forced landing in an almond orchard. Records revealed that the pilot flew 5.6 hours during the trip from Modesto to Redlands and then to the accident site. Fueling records disclosed that the pilot purchased 12.6 gallons of 100LL aviation gasoline from Redlands Aviation just prior to departure. An examination revealed that the left fuel tank was compromised in the accident, but the right fuel tank was intact. The fuel selector was positioned to the right tank, which contained only residual fuel. No fuel was found in the fuel inlet line to the servo. No fuel was found in the distributor manifold. The engine starter drive was engaged into the starter ring. No engine discrepancies were found.

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

Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's improper preflight planning and failure to ensure that adequate fuel was onboard to complete the flight. Darkness was a related factor.

Full narrative available

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