NTSB Identification: SEA98LA191.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 29, 1998 in PUYALLUP, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/11/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172L, registration: N2880Q
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-in-command topped off the 42 gallon (38 gallons usable fuel) Cessna 172L but did not visually check the fuel. He then departed on a series of flights covering more than 354 nautical miles and 5.33 hours of flight time, including four intermediate stops where no fuel was added to the aircraft. Upon return to his point of origination he elected to execute a touch-and-go landing during which the aircraft's engine stopped operating on the climb-out. He then executed a forced landing under dark night conditions on a north-south thoroughfare (highway 161) and impacted a vehicle during the forced landing. Post-crash examination resulted in 2 cups of fuel being retrieved from the right wing fuel tank and 3 quarts from the left wing fuel tank. An FAA inspector on site was able to retrieve 4 drops of fuel from the gascolator following the accident.

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

The pilot-in-command's failure to refuel en-route resulting in fuel exhaustion. Contributing factors were a vehicle (in the landing path) and dark night conditions.

Full narrative available

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