NTSB Identification: FTW98LA069.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, December 16, 1997 in MCKINNEY, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/28/1999
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N1371E
Injuries: 3 Serious.
NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
A total loss of engine power occurred during the final descent to the destination airport. Fluctuation of the fuel quantity gauges was reported by the pilot. The pilot planned the cruise flight at 75 percent power and leaned the mixture by using the EGT gauge. A passenger reported the aircraft 'ran out of fuel.' There was no evidence of fuel at the accident site. The company mechanic had informed the pilot that the engine would run lean and that fuel consumption for the airplane varied from 8 gph to 12 gph. The total cross country flight time was calculated at 5 hours and 11 to 19 minutes. According to the Pilot's Operating Handbook, the endurance at 75 percent cruise power is approximately 5 hrs 24 minutes. No pre-existing mechanical anomalies were found that would have precluded engine producing power. Testing of the fuel sending units revealed inaccuracy of the cockpit fuel gauge readings.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's inadequate in-flight/planning decision which resulted in continued flight until fuel exhaustion. Related factors were incorrect fuel gauge readings and trees. Full narrative available
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