NTSB Identification: DEN00LA018.
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Accident occurred Friday, November 12, 1999 in RAWLINS, WY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/21/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N5225D
Injuries: 4 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 he drained 'three inches' of fuel from the fuel tanks because he would be carrying three passengers and their luggage, and he did not want to exceed the airplane's maximum gross weight of 2,550 pounds. About 2 hours 50 minutes after takeoff, 15 miles from his destination, the engine lost power and the pilot performed a forced landing to a rough field. The pilot indicated, and examination of the airplane confirmed, that fuel exhaustion was the reason the engine lost power. The pilot reported he received incorrect information about the fuel tanks that led him to believe that he had more fuel than the tanks held. He said there was only enough fuel for about 2.9 hours. The pilot reported that he thought the airplane's useable fuel was 50 gallons, not 38 gallons.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning preparation which resulted in fuel exhaustion. Factors in the accident were the unsuitable terrain on which to make a forced landing and the pilot's lack of experience in aircraft type.

Full narrative available

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