NTSB Identification: SEA02FA007.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, October 16, 2001 in Dixie, ID
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/18/2003
Aircraft: Cessna TR182, registration: N756CE
Injuries: 2 Fatal.

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.

The pilot departed Boise, Idaho, in the Lycoming O-540-L3C5D powered Cessna TR182 arriving at Ft. Collins 3.0 hours of tach time later on the day before the accident. The aircraft departed Boise with full (88 gallons useable) fuel tanks and remained overnight at Ft. Collins where there was no overnight security available. The aircraft was fueled with 30 gallons of fuel at Ft. Collins the next day with 20 gallons in the right tank (to full according to the fueler) and 10 gallons in the left tank (to 3/4 full according to the fueler). A credit card receipt for this fueling was date/time stamped for 1712. A radar track showed the aircraft flying westbound crossing 7 nm south of Pocatello and 21 nm north of Gooding, Idaho, where public airports with lighted runways and fuel were located. At 2112, in dark night conditions, the pilot radioed Salt Lake Air Route Traffic Control that he had an engine out and about one minute later referenced a 'field on fire' as a potential landing site. The aircraft impacted terrain in the bottom of a shallow (+12 degree sloped) bowl in mountainous/hilly terrain throughout which a controlled burn was underway. The left wing outboard leading edge impacted first, followed by the engine and there was no post-crash aircraft related fire. The landing gear were down and the flaps were retracted. The tach at the accident site read a total of 6.6 hours from the Boise departure reading. Less than a pint of fuel was extracted from the aircraft's fuel system and there was no evidence of fuel leakage/staining on the aircraft. The pilot operating handbook performance data section showed the highest cruise fuel burn rate for the aircraft's engine was about 15.2 gallons/hour. Documentation found within the aircraft tracking tach times, fuel, location(s) and date from 1996 forward referenced fuel burn rates ranging as high as 19.0 gallons/hour.

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

The pilot's failure to refuel en route resulting in fuel exhaustion, and his inadvertent entry into a stall condition during the emergency descent. Contributing factors were dark night conditions and mountainous/hilly terrain.

Full narrative available

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