NTSB Identification: MIA99LA061.
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Accident occurred Thursday, December 31, 1998 in FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/16/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 177, registration: N29451
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.

Twice, 1 month earlier, erratic engine operation noted following engine shutdown. During preflight 5 days before accident, fuel stain was noted on the nose landing gear wheel pant, fuel quantity not visually verified. After a flight 3 days before the accident, fuel leakage from carburetor noted. The pilot, non A & P mechanic diagnosed the discrepancy and did not have the carburetor examined. The airplane was flown to another Bahamas airport where 14 gallons of fuel were purchased; the fuel tanks were not filled based on the cost and for safety while flying over water. The pilot used a non-calibrated dipstick. The accident flight departed, and while on final approach after Customs was knowingly closed, was advised of such. The flight proceeded towards another airport for Customs clearance and while on final approach, the engine quit due to fuel exhaustion. The pilot landed the airplane on a road. Post accident examination of the carburetor revealed flooding at low throttle settings due to failed float hinge pin and missing and incorrectly installed hardware which would result in an increase in fuel flow at full rich position. The carburetor had accumulated 544 hours since installation following overhaul 5 years 11 months earlier.

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

The intentional operation of the airplane by the pilot with known deficiencies in equipment (fuel leakage from the carburetor), poor preflight by the pilot for his failure to visually determine that the fuel tanks were full before the initial flight. Factors in the accident were improper overhaul of the carburetor by a facility which would result in an increase in the fuel flow at full rich position, and also, failure of the float hinge arm pin in the carburetor which resulted in flooding at low throttle settings.

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