NTSB Identification: ATL05CA016.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 28, 2004 in Mobile, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 03/30/2005
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N2845Q
Injuries: 4 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 pilot stated that the engine lost power approximately 10-20 miles north-northwest of Mobile Regional Airport, while flying at 8,500 feet. Attempts by the pilot to restart the engine were unsuccessful. The pilot radioed Mobile Control Tower and reported his loss of engine power. The tower controller cleared the flight to land on runway 14. The airplane collided with the ground 300 feet short of the runway 14. The examination of the airplane revealed that the engine compartment firewall and forward fuselage were buckled. The crankshaft was manually rotated through 360 degrees and engine drive-train continuity was established. The right magneto produced an ignition spark to each spark plug ignition lead when rotated. Examination of the fuel system revealed that both wing fuel tanks were intact, and less than one pint of 100 low lead fuel was recovered from the right wing fuel tank. No other fuel was recovered from the fuel system. No anomalies with the airframe or engine were observed. According to refueling records, the airplane was last topped off on October 27, 2004. There were no other refueling records from October 28, 2004. The airplane had flown one hour on October 28, 2004 before the accident flight, and was not refueled before the accident flight.

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

The pilot's inadequate preflight planning and his inadequate in-flight planning/decision which resulted in fuel exhaustion and subsequent collision with the ground.

Full narrative available

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