NTSB Identification: ATL06LA099.
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Accident occurred Saturday, July 01, 2006 in Ringgold, GA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/31/2006
Aircraft: Cessna 172H, registration: N8084L
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 he and the co-owner arrived at the airport to pick up the airplane. The co-owner observed the left wing was lower than the right wing and fuel was draining out of the fuel vent. The pilot moved the fuel selector valve handle from the both position to the right main fuel tank position. The pilot opened the left main fuel cap and stated the left main fuel tank was full. The co-owner opened the right main fuel cap and estimated about six gallons of fuel was present. The pilot started the airplane, taxied to the engine run up area, completed the engine run, and departed. The pilot turned right crosswind at about 50 feet and the engine lost power, The pilot lowered the nose, attempted to move the fuel selector valve from the right tank position to the left main fuel tank position which was unsuccessful. The engine started, stopped, and the pilot made a forced landing straight ahead into the trees. Examination of the airplane revealed the left and right main fuel tank were not ruptured. No fuel was present in the left main fuel tank and 5 gallons of fuel were removed by recovery personnel from the right main fuel tank. No fuel leakage was present on the ground. The airplane was recovered to a storage facility. The left and right main fuel tanks hold 18 gallons of fuel of which 1.5 gallons of fuel are not useable in non-level flight. The left and right main fuel tanks were filled with water and there was no evidence of leakage. Shop air was applied to the fuel system and no anomalies were noted. Plumbing for an external fuel source was connected into the left and right fuel tank supply line with a flexible hose for two engine runs. The fuel selector valve was placed in the left main fuel selector position for the first engine run and then on the right main fuel selector for the second engine run. The engine was started, the throttle was advanced to 1000 rpm and stabilized for 2 minutes. The throttle was advanced to 1500 rpm and a magneto check was conducted. The throttle was advanced to 2200 rpm and stabilized for 5 minutes, the engine was returned to the idle position, and shut down on both engine runs. No anomalies were noted during either engine run.

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

The pilot's improper fuel management resulting in a total loss of engine power due to fuel starvation resulting in a forced landing, and collision with trees and the ground.

Full narrative available

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