NTSB Identification: CHI04CA236.
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Accident occurred Monday, August 23, 2004 in Crystal Lake, IL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/28/2004
Aircraft: Cessna 182, registration: N92848
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The airplane sustained substantial damage during a forced landing to a municipal park after a loss of engine power. The pilot reported that he "dipped" the fuel tanks during his preflight and the left tank had 30 gallons and that right tank had 18 gallons. The planned flight time was 58 minutes and the he had 3 hours of fuel on board. He reported that about 58 minutes after departure he was approximately 4 miles north of the Lake in the Hills Airport (3CK) when the engine started to run rough and quit. He applied carburetor heat, switched the fuel selector to "Left" from "Both," put the mixture control to rich, checked the magnetos, and tried to restart the engine without success. He established the best glide speed and turned toward 3CK. He realized that he was not going to be able to make the airport because the airplane was too low. He executed a forced landing to a park that contained playing fields. During landing rollout the airplane impacted a row of pine trees at the east end of the soccer fields. The airplane remained in a normal, upright position. The inspection of the airplane revealed that the left wing fuel cap was missing and the left fuel tank was empty. The top left wing sheet metal, left flap, and left rear horizontal stabilizer had fuel stains trailing from the left fuel tank filler opening. There was no sign of fuel spilled on the ground around the left wing and there was no smell of fuel. A search of the surrounding area was made for the missing left fuel cap, but it was not found. The right wing separated from the fuselage. The right fuel tank cap was still installed. The right fuel tank was empty. There were no fuel stains on the top right wing surface, right flap, or right horizontal stabilizer. There was no sign of fuel spilled on the ground around the right wing and there was no smell of fuel. An inspection of the engine revealed that it exhibited continuity.

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

Engine failure due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's failure to secure the left wing fuel cap during preflight. A factor was the trees.

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