NTSB Identification: MIA98LA104.
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Accident occurred Sunday, March 22, 1998 in KINSTON, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/15/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172I, registration: N35326
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.
Before departure, the fuel tanks were fueled to the point where the fuel supply automatically shut off due to nozzle-to-fuel contact, but the pilot did not confirm visually that the fuel tanks were filled to the filler neck. The first leg of the flight was uneventful, lasting about 1 hour 24 minutes. During the return flight, as the airplane was approaching the destination airport, the engine lost power. The pilot was able to restart the engine, but it lost power again; this process occurred several times. The pilot made a forced landing in a field about 2-1/2 miles from the airport, and during the landing roll, the airplane encountered soft terrain and nosed over. The pilot stated that at the time of the loss of power, the right fuel tank gauge indicated 1/4 capacity. During both legs of the flight, the mixture control remained in the full rich position. Postaccident examination by an FAA inspector revealed only residual fuel in the fuel tanks. No discrepancies were noted to the fuel indication system. Four gallons of fuel were added to the right fuel tank, which registered just above empty on the fuel gauge. The engine was started, and it operated normally. The performance charts for the airplane were predicated in part on leaning the mixture.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's inadequate preflight and improper fuel management, which resulted in fuel exhaustion, loss of engine power, and a forced landing. Soft terrain in the emergency landing area was a related factor. Full narrative available
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