NTSB Identification: DEN90LA093.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42708.
Accident occurred Wednesday, April 18, 1990 in COLUMBIA FALLS, MT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/09/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172, registration: N3233L
Injuries: 1 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 STUDENT PILOT WAS COMPLETING A CROSS COUNTRY SOLO FLIGHT. HE REPORTED THAT WHILE IN CRUISE FLIGHT, THE ENGINE QUIT. HE SELECTED A FIELD AND MADE A FORCED LANDING. DURING LANDING ROLL, THE NOSE GEAR SANK INTO THE SOFT TERRAIN AND THE PLANE NOSED OVER, COMING TO REST INVERTED. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE OF A FUEL SPILL AND NO FUEL IN THE TANKS. THE OWNER REPORTED THAT HE DISCOVERED ONE FUEL CAP INSTALLED IMPROPERLY, WHICH HE BELIEVES SIPHONED OUT FUEL DURING THE FLIGHT.

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

THE PILOT'S FAILURE TO PREFLIGHT AND SECURE THE FUEL CAP WHICH RESULTED IN THE LOSS OF FUEL AND THE LOSS OF ENGINE POWER FROM FUEL EXHAUTION. FACTOR WAS SOFT TERRAIN DURING FORCED LANDING.

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