NTSB Identification: MIA97LA127.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, April 09, 1997 in TULLAHOMA, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/07/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 182B, registration: N2515G
Injuries: 1 Serious,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.

The flight departed with full fuel tanks and during cruise flight the pilot noted that the fuel gauge needles were bouncing and indicating between empty and 1/4 full. The flight continued then during cruise flight about 5-6 minutes later and 3 hours 6 minutes into the flight, the engine quit. The pilot initiated an emergency descent then while over unsuitable terrain, he landed the airplane in trees. Post crash examination of the fuel tank in the left wing which was separated revealed it contained about 1/4 cup of fuel. The fuel tank in the right wing which was attached was found empty. No fuel stains were noted aft of each fuel cap or aft of each fuel tank sump drain fitting. The estimated time en route was calculated to be 3 hours 13 minutes. The pilot stated that historically the fuel consumption is 12.5 to 13.0 gallons per hour. No determination could be made as to the reason for the excess fuel consumption.

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

Fuel exhaustion for undetermined reasons and unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing. Contributing to the accident was the failure of the pilot to divert to an alternate airport while en route after recognizing that the fuel consumed was greater than the planned amount for the flight duration.

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