NTSB Identification: DEN04LA045.
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Accident occurred Thursday, February 12, 2004 in Parowan, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 09/29/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N9892J
Injuries: 2 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.
According to the pilot, he topped-off the airplane with fuel, and departed to the west on a long cross-country flight. After flying for several hours, he saw the "glow of [city] lights" and thought it was his destination. He attempted to contact the airport by radio, but did not receive a response. He stated that, at that time, he was unable to pick up the VOR. At that point he realized that he must have drifted north and off of his intended heading. He said he adjusted his heading to the southwest, and climbed to a higher altitude. Shortly thereafter, he located his destination, and through radio contact, turned on the runway lights. As he flew over the airport, the airplane's engine began to lose power and then it "cut out." He circled around the airport as he descended and set up for a forced landing on runway 22. On the final approach, he realized that he wasn't going to make the runway. He said that he "increased the [airplane's] angle of attack," but the airplane fell short of the runway. The airplane's right wing struck a fence post and the airplane impacted the terrain approximately 50 yards short of the runway threshold. The airplane's right wing spar was bent outboard of the wing strut, and the nose landing gear was separated from the gear fork. An on-site examination of the airplane revealed that both wing fuel tanks were empty.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: the pilot's in-flight decision/planning which resulted in fuel exhaustion. The fence and night conditions were contributing factors. Full narrative available
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