NTSB Identification: FTW94LA039.
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Accident occurred Thursday, November 25, 1993 in MANCOS, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/24/1996
Aircraft: CESSNA R172K, registration: N8833T
Injuries: 3 Minor.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

WHILE IN CRUISE THE ENGINE LOST POWER DUE TO FUEL EXHAUSTION. DURING THE FORCED LANDING TO THE ONLY AVAILABLE BUT UNSUITABLE TERRAIN THE AIRPLANE COLLIDED WITH A TREE. ACCORDING TO THE PILOT'S REPORT, HIS PRE-FLIGHT EXAMINATION VERIFIED THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS FUELED TO CAPACITY PRIOR TO HIS CHECKOUT AND POSITIONING FLIGHT FROM PHOENIX TO SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA. HE DEPARTED SCOTTSDALE THE NEXT MORNING AT 0520 PST. THE ENGINE LOST POWER APPROXIMATELY 0950 MST. THE PILOT SAID HE SHOULD HAVE HAD 5.7 GALLONS REMAINING AFTER LANDING AT THE DESTINATION (TELLURIDE AIRPORT). HOWEVER, COMPANY OFFICIALS SAID THE AIRPLANE WAS NOT FUELED TO CAPACITY AND THAT 3.0 GALLONS PER TANK (6.0 GALLONS TOTAL) WERE ROUTINELY WITHHELD TO PREVENT FUEL EXPANSION AND VENTING. THE PILOT SAID THAT 'LOOKING AT THE FUEL GAUGES IS PART OF MY SCAN, WHICH I RUN THROUGH EVERY FEW SECONS DURING A FLIGHT.' AN FAA INSPECTOR FOUND NO FUEL IN THE RIGHT TANK, VERY LITTLE FUEL IN THE LEFT TANK, AND RESIDUAL FUEL IN THE SUMPS AND GASCOLATOR.

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

FUEL EXHAUSTION INDUCED POWER LOSS AND THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION, DURING WHICH HE FAILED TO INSURE THAT THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN REFUELED TO CAPACITY. A FACTOR WAS THE LACK OF SUITABLE TERRAIN FOR A FORCED LANDING.

Full narrative available

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