NTSB Identification: ANC99LA151.
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Accident occurred Thursday, September 23, 1999 in GALENA, AK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/17/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N5309R
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 commercial pilot closed his flight plan, stating that the airport was in sight. The pilot of a departing airplane told the NTSB investigator that the accident pilot transmitted he was 'five miles out for landing, followed by 'I'm three miles out, just ran out of fuel at 1,000 feet, and am going to try to land on a road or the closed airstrip.' The pilot said he was unable to reach the closed airstrip, it was dark, and the airplane landed in the trees. The pilot said he thought he departed with a full fuel load of 39 gallons (38 gallons usable), but did not visually confirm the tanks were topped off after the lineman from a Fixed Base Operator filled the airplane's tanks. He said the flight lasted 4 hours 37 minutes. The cruise performance charts for a Cessna 172 with an O-300 engine predict fuel consumption at 2,400 rpm between 8.1 and 9.2 gallons per hour.

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

The pilot's failure to refuel, and the resulting fuel exhaustion. A factor was the dark night which hampered location of a nearby closed, and unlit, airstrip.

Full narrative available

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