NTSB Identification: WPR10LA412
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, August 18, 2010 in Manson, WA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/04/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 177A, registration: N30559
Injuries: 2 Minor,2 Uninjured.

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 was making a round-robin cross-country flight, and his preflight fuel planning indicated that he would need 15.8 gallons of fuel to complete the flight and have the required reserve for visual flight rules. He visually checked the fuel level in the tanks prior to departure on the first leg and estimated that he had over 30 gallons on board. This approximated what he observed on the fuel gauges at the start of the flight; he did not have a calibrated measuring device for his airplane. The pilot completed the outbound leg successfully. Preflight for the return leg consisted of a walk-around visual inspection of the airplane but did not include a visual examination of the fuel levels in the fuel tanks. Approaching the destination on the return leg, the engine began to run rough, lost all power, restarted briefly, and then lost all power again. The pilot made an off-airport forced landing in rough terrain. Postaccident examination found that the fuel tanks were empty. The pilot surmised that a fuel leak developed for undetermined reasons; however, there was no evidence found to indicate that a fuel leak had occurred.

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

A loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion, and the pilot’s failure to ensure that a sufficient quantity of fuel was on board to complete the flight.

Full narrative available

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