NTSB Identification: ATL98TA054.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 13, 1998 in ARCADIA, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/28/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N54634
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, during his preflight inspection, he did not recall making a visual check of the fuel quantity in the fuel tanks. The flight departed en route to inspect eagles' nests for the state game and fish commission. As the flight approached a nest for inspection, the engine lost power. Attempts by the pilot to restart the engine, failed. The pilot selected an emergency landing area. The airplane collided with an orange tree during the approach to land. According to the pilot, the forced landing area was rough and uneven. An examination of the airplane at the accident site disclosed that there was no fuel in either fuel tank. The wreckage examination also failed to disclose any obvious mechanical problems with the airplane.

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

The pilot's inadequate pre-flight and in-flight planning, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and the loss of power. Trees and rough/uneven terrain are contributing factors.

Full narrative available

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