NTSB Identification: FTW02FA072.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, January 22, 2002 in Farmington, NM
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/01/2003
Aircraft: Cessna 177, registration: N29406
Injuries: 1 Fatal,1 Serious.

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 private pilot planned a 3-hour and 45-minute cross-country flight, and estimated that the single-engine airplane had 5.0 hours of fuel on board. The Hobbs meter in the aircraft indicated that the accident flight lasted 4.9 hours. The airplane was in the traffic pattern at the destination airport when the pilot reported that he had lost engine power. Witnesses reported observing the airplane on final approach and noticed not hearing any engine noise. The airplane impacted a 30-degree slope approximately 30 feet below the top of the mesa. The airport was located on and approximately 1,000 feet short of the runway threshold. A post-accident examination of the airplane revealed no evidence of usable fuel. No other anomalies were noted during the examination of the airframe or engine. The pilot was unable to recall the final 10 minutes of the flight.

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

the pilot's inadequate in-flight planning decision which resulted in fuel exhaustion while in the traffic pattern at the destination airport.

Full narrative available

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