NTSB Identification: WPR11LA266
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 18, 2011 in Mount Pleasant, UT
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/26/2012
Aircraft: CESSNA 172P, registration: N65654
Injuries: 2 Serious,3 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.

On the day of the accident, the pilot reported that he expected the borrowed airplane’s fuel tanks to be full. Since there was no ladder available to visually view the fuel tank quantity or to use a dip stick, he relied on the fuel gauges, which indicated that the left tank was about 3/8 full and the right fuel gauge indicated full. After accomplishing two parachute drops, an individual asked the pilot to take him and his children on a local sightseeing flight. During that flight, the engine lost power and the pilot subsequently made a forced landing to a field. During the wreckage recovery, personnel reported that neither fuel tank was breached and that the tanks were empty, suggesting that the loss of engine power was due to fuel exhaustion. Throughout the day, the airplane’s fuel quantity gauges gave indications that suggested the tanks contained fuel, and the pilot, therefore, continued to fly the airplane without visually inspecting the quantity of fuel in the tanks. Postaccident examination and testing of the fuel quantity indicating system did not reveal any mechanical malfunctions or failures that would preclude normal operation. The pilot who previously flew the airplane reported that, although the protocol was that all individuals who borrowed the airplane were to fill its fuel tanks after using it, he had failed to do so and left about 5 gallons of fuel in one tank and about 3 gallons of fuel in the other.

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

The pilot’s failure to determine the airplane’s fuel quantity before takeoff, which resulted in a loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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