NTSB Identification: MIA05LA155.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, September 13, 2005 in Ocean Springs, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/29/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 172M, registration: N901NS
Injuries: 1 Serious.
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 he had no recollection of the accident. Another pilot/witness stated that he was also a contract pilot working for the same survey company, and he had been conversing with the accident pilot while conducting aerial surveys in his airplane at the time. The witness said he observed events and heard radio communications during and after the accident. The witness said he heard the accident pilot say that his airplane's engine started running rough, and about 20 seconds later he heard a "mayday" call on the radio, and that the accident pilot said that his airplane's engine had ceased operating, and he was going down. He said he first saw the accident airplane when it was at an altitude of about 800 feet, and he saw the pilot divert to an open field and set up for a left downwind. The witness said he then saw the pilot "crank" the airplane around in a tight turn to avoid power lines. According to the witness, the airplane hit the ground in a left spin, nose down, and came to an abrupt stop. According to an FAA inspector, shortly after the accident occurred the accident airplane was defueled to prevent a safety hazard, and about 10 to 15 gallons of fuel was removed from the right wing. No fuel was found in the left wing. The inspector further stated that the fuel selector had been set to the left tank position, and there was no evidence of significant fuel spillage at the scene. In addition, technical representatives from Cessna Aircraft Company, and Textron Lycoming Engines, performed detailed examinations on the airplane and its systems under the oversight of an FAA inspector, and the investigation confirmed that the fuel selector valve had been set to the left position. No other preaccident anomalies were noted to exist with the airplane or any of its systems
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's mismanagement of available fuel and continued operation with the fuel selector set to the left tank position, which resulted in fuel starvation and subsequent loss of engine power. Full narrative available
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