NTSB Identification: LAX92LA059.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 46025.
Accident occurred Tuesday, November 26, 1991 in TUCSON, AZ
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/23/1993
Aircraft: CESSNA 182H, registration: N1986X
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 SAID THAT PRIOR TO DEPARTURE AT EL PASO SHE VISUALLY LOOKED IN EACH FUEL TANK AND ESTIMATED THEY WERE TWO THIRDS FULL. SHE DID NOT PHYSICALLY MEASURE THE FUEL QUANTITY. THE LEFT FUEL GAGE WAS KNOWN TO BE INOPERATIVE BY THE PILOT. ON A TWO MILE FINAL APPROACH TO TUCSON THE ENGINE BEGAN TO SPUTTER. THE PILOT SWITCHED FUEL TANKS AND THE ENGINE QUIT. THE AIRCRAFT COLLIDED WITH ROUGH TERRAIN DURING THE SUBSEQUENT FORCED LANDING ATTEMPT IN A DESERT AREA EAST OF THE TUCSON AIRPORT. THE AIRCRAFT WAS EXAMINED BY FAA INSPECTORS. THE LEFT FUEL TANK WAS COMPLETELY DRY AND THE RIGHT TANK CONTAINED ONLY RESIDUAL FUEL. FUEL SYSTEM CONTINUITY WAS ESTABLISHED. THE FAA INSPECTORS REPORTED THAT THE OPERATOR KNEW ABOUT THE INOPERATIVE FUEL GAGE PRIOR TO THIS FLIGHT BUT DID NOT REPAIR IT DURING THE LAST MAINTENANCE PERIOD. AN OPERATIVE FUEL QUANTITY INDICATING SYSTEM IS REQUIRED BY REGULATION FOR FLIGHT.

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

FUEL EXHAUSTION DUE TO THE PILOT'S INADEQUATE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION, HER FAILURE TO ENSURE THAT AN ADEQUATE FUEL SUPPLY WAS ONBOARD AND HER DECISION NOT TO REFUEL THE AIRCRAFT PRIOR TO DEPARTURE. FACTORS IN THE ACCIDENT WERE: 1) THE INOPERATIVE LEFT FUEL GAGE; 2) THE FAILURE OF THE OPERATOR MANAGEMENT TO ADEQUATELY MAINTAIN THE AIRCRAFT AND 3) THE PILOT'S DECISION TO OPERATE THE AIRCRAFT WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES IN THE REQUIRED EQUIPMENT.

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