NTSB Identification: DEN02LA066.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 29, 2002 in Hite, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/06/2002
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N725EC
Injuries: 3 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 pilot reported that he was about 30 miles away from the airport when the airplane's engine lost power. He said he tried to find a place to land. The pilot said, "I found a very small dirt road, so I turned base and then final for it. We had a big tailwind at this point and we overshot the road. I then turned to the right and set it down in the middle of the desert. The landing was soft until we ran out of room and hit a ditch. We almost stopped and the front tire dug in, and it lifted us straight up and then we rolled over slowly on to the top of the plane." In his statement to a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector, the pilot said that he ran out of fuel. An examination of the airplane's fuel system showed no fuel in the tanks. No other pre-impact anomalies were found.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's improper in-flight planning resulting in fuel exhaustion. A factor relating to the accident was the unsuitable terrain encountered during the forced landing attempt.
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