NTSB Identification: MIA00FA117.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 22, 2000 in COLUMBIA, SC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 177RG, registration: N1556H
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

According to the PIC, substantiated by the widow of the passenger/pilot, the airplane fuel tanks were topped off at Orangeburg Municipal Airport, Orangeburg, South Carolina, on March 19, 2000. The PIC further stated that he flew directly home to Columbia Downtown Airport, parked, and tied down for a total fuel burn time of about 30 minutes. On March 22, 2000, the airplane took off from Columbia Downtown Airport, the PIC having radioed his intention to stay in the traffic pattern, and sustained an engine stoppage as the airplane approached the abeam position for its first landing. The airplane collided with the terrain and revealed no evidence of onboard fuel at the crash site. The engine underwent a factory test cell run, and it was unsatisfactory until factory fuel injector nozzles were substituted, at which time the engine met factory specifications. Subsequent disassembly examination of the fuel system components revealed contamination in the fuel injector servo. The fuel quantity indication system underwent factory testing and revealed the right tank system was operating erratically, which appeared to be a precrash condition.

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

The PIC's inadequate planning and preparation resulting in refueling not being performed and the subsequent fuel exhaustion and forced landing into trees. A factor in the accident was the erratic operation of the right fuel tank quantity indicating system.

Full narrative available

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