NTSB Identification: NYC06LA124.
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Accident occurred Sunday, May 28, 2006 in Vineyard Haven, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/25/2007
Aircraft: Cessna C-172N, registration: N738HE
Injuries: 1 Minor,3 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.

Prior to departure, the pilot requested fuel be added to the airplane until it reached "two inches below the filler neck." He reported that he was concerned with the weight and balance of the airplane and therefore did not want to fill the tanks to full. The pilot departed and flew at an altitude of 1,500 to 2,000 feet, and a power setting of 2,500 rpm. While on final approach to the destination airport, the engine "ran rough and sputtered," and then lost power. The pilot declared an emergency and reported to air traffic controllers that he was "out of fuel." He then unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine, and performed a forced landing to a field. A State Police Trooper observed no fuel in either fuel tank upon his arrival to the scene, and the pilot stated to him that he "ran out of fuel." A review of the fuel log from the departure airport revealed the airplane was fueled with 14.2 gallons of fuel prior to the pilot's departure. According to the Cessna 172N Pilot Operating Handbook, the airplane's engine consumed approximately 8.4 gallons per hour at an altitude of 2,000 feet, and a power setting of 2,500 rpm.

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

The pilot's improper preflight planning and improper fuel consumption calculations, which resulted in fuel exhaustion and a subsequent loss of engine power.

Full narrative available

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