NTSB Identification: FTW00LA119.
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Accident occurred Friday, April 07, 2000 in LUBBOCK, TX
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/04/2000
Aircraft: Cessna 172E, registration: N5682T
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 Uninjured.
NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
During a daytime IFR cross-country flight in visual meteorological conditions, the approach controller at the destination airport cleared the airplane for a straight-in-approach to the runway. Subsequently, the pilot reported a loss of engine power and a forced landing. During the landing roll in a field, the nose gear collapsed in the soft dirt, and the airplane nosed over to the inverted position. The pilot reported that each time he moved the fuel selector from the 'BOTH' to the 'LEFT' position, the engine lost power. An FAA inspector interviewed the pilot and reported that 'it appeared the pilot may not have moved the selector completely to the detent for the left fuel tank. Operation of the CE-172-E with the fuel selector between detents may cause reduced fuel flow or completely stop fuel flow to the engine.' According to the inspector, during a ground/flight checkout in the airplane two days before the accident, the flight instructor 'did not cover the operation of the fuel selector in great detail because [the pilot] held a commercial pilot license.' The inspector examined the airplane and found fuel in the aircraft fuel tanks and no mechanical discrepancies with the fuel selector valve.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's incorrect positioning of the fuel selector which resulted in fuel starvation. Factors were the pilot's lack of familiarity with the fuel system due to an inadequate checkout by a flight instructor, and the lack of suitable terrain for the forced landing. Full narrative available
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