NTSB Identification: LAX08CA164.
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Accident occurred Thursday, June 05, 2008 in Santa Rosa, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 07/30/2008
Aircraft: Cessna 172, registration: N6494E
Injuries: 1 Minor.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot took off with 38 gallons of fuel on board, and planned a 3-hour flight to his refueling stop. After departure he followed the wrong highway northeast. He realized his mistake, adjusted his course to intercept the correct highway, and continued on to his destination. He flew at 4,500 feet mean sea level (msl) and 110 miles per hour (mph) ground speed according to his global positioning system (GPS). Winds aloft at 4,950 feet msl were from 320 degrees at 21 knots, providing a strong headwind. After 4.4 hours of flight, the airplane ran out of fuel near his refueling stop, and the pilot made a forced landing into a vineyard near the airport.

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

The pilot's improper in-flight decision making and inadequate fuel consumption calculations that resulted in fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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