NTSB Identification: MIA96TA014.
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Accident occurred Friday, October 20, 1995 in REDSTONE ARSENA, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/25/1996
Aircraft: Cessna 182R, registration: N3163E
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this public aircraft accident report.

The pilot stated that 3 flights lasting a total of about 5 hours were scheduled due to installation of the rebuilt engine. Before departure on the first flight the fuel tanks were nearly full. The first and second flights were uneventful and both lasted 3.4 hours. The pilot used a commercially fabricated dipstick with incorrect readings to verify fuel quantity before departing on the third flight. Fuel servicing was not performed before departure for the third flight. After departure the pilot activated his VFR flight plan which he later updated the ETA. The flight returned and the pilot performed 2 full stop landings. While turning base for the final full stop landing, the engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot was unable to land on the runway due to an extended downwind leg and landed in trees. The engine had been operated for about 6.0 hours since fueling including 3 additional takeoff's not planned during the fuel consumption calculations. Search and Rescue was delayed due to ATC comment that the overdue flight was actually safe on the ground.

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

the pilot's poor inflight planning decision for not flying the scheduled time and electing to perform 3 additional takeoffs not planned during fuel consumption calculations. Contributing to the accident was the use of an inaccurate dipstick.

Full narrative available

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