NTSB Identification: LAX97LA316.
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Accident occurred Saturday, September 06, 1997 in MADERA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/10/1998
Aircraft: Cessna 182B, registration: N81MK
Injuries: 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 pilot descended to land after a paradrop. Entering downwind, he cleared the engine, moved the mixture control to full rich, and applied carburetor heat. Being above traffic pattern altitude he extended his downwind. Upon reaching his base leg, he attempted to add power but the engine failed to respond. He switched tanks from both to the right and finally to the left. When the engine continued windmilling he executed a forced landing. The aircraft touched down perpendicular to the rows of the cotton field and nosed over. About 1 gallon of fuel was found in the right tank and 3 gallons found in the left. The aircraft had flown 1.6 hours since being last fueled with 19 gallons. The total fuel onboard after refueling is unknown. The engine manufacturer estimated that engine would consumed about 19 gallons during this period. The aircraft manufacturer stated that there are 1.5 gallons of unusable fuel in each tank. The carburetor icing probability chart, shows that carburetor icing was possible at glide and cruise power.

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

fuel exhaustion due to the pilot's failure to compute the fuel required and the fuel available. The pilot's decision to extend his downwind beyond gliding distance of the runway after entering the traffic pattern was a factor in this accident.

Full narrative available

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