NTSB Identification: CHI08LA108
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, April 20, 2008 in Fairfax, IA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/24/2008
Aircraft: CESSNA 172L, registration: N9832G
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Minor.

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 departed on a 3-leg round-robin flight under night visual meteorological (VMC) conditions. He did not refuel the airplane prior to departure. During the second leg of the flight, the pilot picked up two passengers and flew for about 30 minutes and deplaned them at the same airport. Then the pilot continued on the third flight leg. He was en route at 3,000 feet msl when the engine began to run rough and lost about 50 percent of its power. The pilot reported that the engine quit and he executed a forced landing to a field. The airplane nosed over in the soft soil. The Hobbs meter indicated that the accident flight was 2.9 hours in length. The pilot who flew the accident airplane previously that day reported that he did not top off the fuel prior to the 1.1-hour flight that he flew. He did not add fuel after the flight, which left about 22.3 gallons of useable fuel on board the airplane. The Pilot Operating Handbook (POH) indicated that the airplane used about 9.7 gallons of fuel during the 1.1 hour flight. According to the POH, the airplane used about 7.9 gallons per hour in cruise flight at 2,500 feet msl. An additional 1-gallon of fuel was consumed in the climb to 2,500 feet msl. The estimated fuel consumed during the accident flight was about 23.9 gallons.

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

Fuel exhaustion as a result of the pilot's inadequate preflight inspection and inaccurate fuel calculations.

Full narrative available

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