NTSB Identification: NYC08LA199
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Sunday, June 01, 2008 in Brockport, NY
Probable Cause Approval Date: 06/22/2009
Aircraft: CESSNA 172H, registration: N3910R
Injuries: 2 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 student pilot performed a preflight inspection on the airplane prior to the instructional flight and observed 6 gallons of fuel in each fuel tank. The flight instructor and student then departed and flew to another airport to practice touch-and-go landings. After flying for approximately 1 hour during the return flight, the engine started to "shake" and then lost power. The flight instructor performed a forced landing to a field, during which the airplane impacted trees. Examination of the airplane revealed approximately 1 gallon of fuel in the right tank and 1 quart of fuel in the left tank. The fuel tanks were not compromised and there was no indication of a fuel leak in the fuel system. No fuel was observed in the fuel line from the fuel tank to the fuel strainer. Prior to the accident flight, the airplane was flown by another pilot for 1.7 hours. The pilot who flew the previous flight departed with 18 gallons of fuel. Fuel consumption calculations performed by a representative of the manufacturer revealed that the accident flight would have consumed 8.4 gallons of fuel. The previous flight (1.7 hours in duration) would have consumed 11.5 gallons. The flight instructor did not verify the fuel quantity prior to departure, did not perform any preflight or en route fuel consumption calculations, and did not refuel the airplane at either airport.

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

A total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion as a result of the flight instructor's inadequate preflight planning.

Full narrative available

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