NTSB Identification: ATL04LA082.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, March 10, 2004 in Knoxville, TN
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/28/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172N, registration: N6257F
Injuries: 1 Minor,1 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 certified flight instructor, approximately 3 miles from the destination airport the engine began to "sputter", and then quit. The certified flight instructor offered to take control of the airplane to make the forced landing but the private pilot said he felt comfortable making the forced landing. The certified flight instructor allow the private pilot to make the forced landing in a open field. During the forced landing the airplane collided with a berm. The pilot's did not report any flight control anomalies prior to the accident. Examination of the airplane revealed the propeller was bent aft, the nose wheel broke off at the strut, and the fuselage was buckled. Examination of the fuel system revealed a small trace of fuel was found in the left and right fuel tanks, and no blockage was noted in the fuel lines. Review of the Cessna pilots operating handbook revealed in Section 7: the total usable fuel in standard configuration is 40 gallons with 3 gallons unusable. In long range configuration 50 gallons usable, and 4 gallons unusable.

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

The CFI's inadequate in-flight planning/decision and his inadequate supervision which resulted in fuel exhaustion. A factor was the inadequate preflight planning/preparation to ensure an adequate fuel supply, and the berm.

Full narrative available

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