NTSB Identification: SEA97LA192.
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Accident occurred Sunday, August 17, 1997 in LYNNWOOD, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 175, registration: N7533M
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

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 stated that he checked the fuel tanks prior to taking off from a private airstrip, and that he observed 6.5 gal. in one tank, and 8.5 gal. in the other tank. He also stated that he was concerned about the fuel quantity, so he decided to fly to an airport that had fuel facilities. During the initial climb after the takeoff, the engine began to run rough. The pilot ditched the airplane in a lake. He stated that the fuel tank pick-up ports may have unported during the 'steep' climb. During the initial pilot interview after the event was upgraded from an incident to an accident, the pilot stated that he had destroyed all evidence that would be required to determine if fuel exhaustion or engine malfunction had occurred, and he did not provide requested information about refueling receipts. Examination of the pilot's logbooks revealed that the pilot had logged 5.1 hours of flight time in the accident airplane during the 4 flights previous to the accident flight. The log did not contain any reference to refueling or of any destination airports that have refueling facilities. Calculations revealed that the airplane would have consumed more than its 43 gallons of useable fuel during the 4 previous flights.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning and preparation, which led to fuel exhaustion and subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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