NTSB Identification: ERA12LA294
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, April 19, 2012 in Richmond, KY
Aircraft: CESSNA 172R, registration: N28BC
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. 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 April 19, 2012, at 1545 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172R, N28BC, operated by Eastern Kentucky University was substantially damaged after impacting a tree during landing roll, after a forced landing in Richmond, Kentucky. The certificated flight instructor and student pilot were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan had been filed for the instructional flight, which was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, between Hisle Field Airport (75KY), Winchester, Kentucky, and Madison Airport (I39), Richmond, Kentucky.
According to the flight instructor, earlier that day before departing I39 for 75KY he watched his student perform the preflight on airplane, and watched his student "dip" the fuel tanks with a "fuel stick" to visually check the fuel level in the fuel tanks.
Upon getting in the airplane for their one hour long training flight he asked the student how much fuel was in each tank. His student advised him that they had 21.5 gallons of fuel in one tank and 20 gallons in the other.
Once the airplane was started the flight instructor then verified the fuel level by looking at the fuel gauges. Both tanks were "registering" 20 gallons on the fuel gauges prior to departure.
After departing I39 they flew to 75KY which was located approximately 20 miles northeast of I39 to conduct a short field and soft field training lesson on the grass runway which was located there. After 30 or 45 minutes of training they departed 75KY for I39.
On the way back to I39, the flight instructor noticed that the fuel gauges were reading low. They continued however on a direct course to I39. When they were approximately 5 miles to the north of I39, the engine started to sputter, and the flight instructor took over control of the airplane. He then turned on the fuel pump and richened the mixture, and the engine started running normally again. At this point he decided to climb and get as much altitude as possible while maintaining a direct course for I39. Approximately 1 minute later while climbing through 3,500 feet above mean sea level, the engine lost power. The flight instructor then performed the "emergency procedures" and attempted to restart the engine without result. He then realized that they would be unable to make the runway so he decided to make an off airport landing. He chose a field and then proceeded with an emergency landing. The emergency landing was uneventful and the airplane touched down in the grass covered field in slightly uphill terrain.
During the landing rollout as the airplane came to the crest of the hill he saw a tree immediately in front of them. He put in full control input to the left to try and miss the tree but, he could not get the airplane to turn to the left fast enough, and the right wing impacted the tree.
Post accident examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed, that the airplane had received substantial damage to the right wing structure and aft fuselage and the wing tanks were devoid of fuel.
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