NTSB Identification: MIA03LA078.
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Accident occurred Friday, March 21, 2003 in Potts Camp, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/02/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 172P, registration: N89811
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 stated that while en route to his fuel stop, about 5 minutes prior to the accident, while scanning the airplane instruments, he was surprised to see that the fuel gauges were indicating below the 5-gallon mark for each tank. After monitoring the gauges, and seeing them stabilize, he said he again started to feel confident in his calculations. About 14 miles south of Holly Springs, Mississippi, in the vicinity of Potts Camp, Mississippi, he said the engine ceased operating. He said he established the best glide speed, while looking for and selecting a field where he could execute a forced landing. As the airplane was descending he attempted to restart the engine, but was unsuccessful. After maneuvering to avoid wires, he landed the airplane in the field, and during the landing rollout the airplane's nose wheel became entangled in a wire fence, and the airplane was damaged. An FAA inspector responded to the accident scene, and noted that no fuel was present in the airplane. After recovery from the field, an FAA licensed airframe and power plant mechanic, under the supervision of the FAA inspector, conducted an examination of the airplane, and no anomalies were found. When fuel was provided, and the damaged propeller replaced, the airplane's engine was tested and it operated normally.

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

The pilot's inadequate planning which resulted in fuel exhaustion, a forced landing to a field, and damage to the airplane during the landing rollout.

Full narrative available

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