NTSB Identification: NYC08CA295
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 27, 2008 in Danielson, CT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/03/2008
Aircraft: CESSNA 182A, registration: N169DP
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

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 flew nine skydiving flights on the day of the accident in the Cessna 182A. Each flight was approximately 30 minutes in duration. The airplane was refueled after approximately every other flight with about 12 gallons of fuel. Prior to takeoff for the tenth and final flight of the day, the pilot thought he had about 16 gallons of fuel in the airplane; however, he did not visually confirm how much fuel was in the tanks and could not remember what the fuel gauges indicated. The pilot departed and dropped one skydiver at an altitude of 4,000 feet and two more skydivers at 10,000 feet. Upon returning to the airport, he flew an extended downwind leg to maintain separation with another landing airplane. While turning onto final approach, the pilot attempted to increase engine power, but the engine did not respond. He continued toward the runway, and during the descent the airplane struck trees, impacted the ground, and flipped over, substantially damaging the left wing and fuselage. The airplane’s fuel system held 3 gallons of unusable fuel. Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed 4 gallons of fuel were drained from the left fuel tank and about 1 gallon was drained from the right fuel tank. The fuel selector was set on both and preimpact mechanical anomalies were identified. The pilot thought the airplane burned about 12 gallons of fuel per hour, based on his 100 hours of experience in the accident airplane. According to the airplane pilot operating handbook (POH), the airplane burned 12 to 14 gallons per hour, depending on varying performance conditions.

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

Fuel exhaustion due to the pilot’s inadequate fuel consumption calculations.

Full narrative available

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