NTSB Identification: SEA00LA100.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, May 17, 2000 in ATLANTIC OCEAN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 05/09/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N738VZ
Injuries: 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.
The Cessna 172N was being delivered from Tampa, Florida, to its new owner, a Spanish flight School at La Coruna, Spain. After a brief stop at Bangor, Maine, where a 124 US gallon long-range (ferry) fuel system was installed, the pilot began the trans-Atlantic portion of the flight. The aircraft performed normally on the Bangor-Gander leg and on to Santa Maria, Azores. The aircraft was fueled with 111.22 US gallons of fuel at Santa Maria adding to the fuel remaining from the flight from Gander, and the pilot estimated an endurance of 13.5 hours of fuel for the 9.5 hour flight to La Coruna. He departed Santa Maria on the wing fuel tanks and after 30 minutes, as per his established procedure, shut down the wing fuel tank system and switched over to the long-range tank system. Approximately 5 hours into the cruise portion of the flight, the engine ceased operating for unknown reasons. The pilot was unable to achieve a restart after switching to the wing tanks and further trouble shooting. The aircraft was ditched about 350 miles west of the coast of Portugal, and a Portuguese fishing vessel retrieved the pilot several hours after the ditching. The aircraft remained afloat for several hours in a nose down attitude and eventually sank in 5,000 meters of water.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: A loss of engine power for undetermined reasons. Full narrative available
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