NTSB Identification: MIA91LA009.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 42561.
Accident occurred Saturday, October 13, 1990 in DE FUNIAK SPGS, FL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/19/1991
Aircraft: CESSNA 177RG, registration: N52838
Injuries: 1 Minor,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 PLT STATED THAT DUE TO A BAD ANKLE, HE WAS UNABLE TO VISUALLY CHECK THE FUEL TANKS FOR QUANTITY, BUT HAD A LINE BOY DO THIS FOR HIM. HE RPRTD THE LINE BOY ESTIMATED THE FUEL TANKS NEEDED ABT 6 GAL TO BE FULL. THE PLT SAID HE NOTED THE FUEL GAGES INDCD ABT 1/4 FULL & ELECTED TO HAVE THEM FILLED; HOWEVER, AFTER DISCUSSING THE SITUATION WITH A COLLEAGUE, HE CANCELED THE FUEL ORDER. HE RPRTD THAT THE 30 MI FLT AT NIGHT WAS UNEVENTFUL UNTIL HE WAS BEGINNING A DSCNT, THEN THE ENG LOST POWER. HE WAS OVER A WOODED AREA & ELECTED TO LAND WITH THE GEAR RETRACTED. BEFORE LANDING, HE SAW A ROAD, BUT SAID HE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO EXTEND THE GEAR. DURING THE LANDING, THE ACFT HIT A CAR, THEN THE GROUND. THE VEHICLE DRIVER RCVD MINOR INJURIES. AN EXAM OF THE ACFT REVEALED THE RGT FUEL CAP WAS LOOSE, WHICH ALLOWED FUEL TO SIPHON. RPRTDLY, THE PLT WAS UNABLE TO DETECT THE LOSS OF FUEL AT NIGHT, SINCE THE FUEL GAGE INDCNS DID NOT CHANGE.

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

THE LOOSE FUEL CAP AND FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO ASSURE THE AIRCRAFT WAS PROPERLY PREFLIGHTED, WHICH RESULTED IN FUEL SIPHONING AND SUBSEQUENT FUEL EXHAUSTION. FACTORS RELATED TO THE ACCIDENT WERE: FAULTY FUEL QUANTITY GAGES, THE PILOT'S DECISION TO FLY WITH KNOWN DEFICIENCIES IN THE AIRCRAFT, DARK NIGHT, LACK OF A SUITABLE LANDING AREA, AND THE VEHICLE.

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