NTSB Identification: ERA12CA568
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, September 19, 2012 in Quitman, MS
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/27/2013
Aircraft: CESSNA 172M, registration: N172HA
Injuries: 1 Serious.

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.

After flying for about 3 hours on a routine pipeline patrol flight at 1,500 feet above ground level, the engine “sputtered,” then ceased producing power. The pilot attempted to restart the engine but was unsuccessful and prepared for an emergency landing in a farm field below. The pilot was unable to recall the events that subsequently transpired, but a postaccident examination of the airplane showed that the left main landing gear collapsed during the landing, resulting in substantial damage to the left wing and engine firewall. Additionally, the fuel system remained intact and both fuel tanks were absent of fuel. About 1/2 pint of fuel was recovered from the fuel strainer, carburetor supply fuel line, and the carburetor float bowl. Following the accident, the pilot stated that he did not check the fuel level prior to departing on the accident flight and that the accident could have been prevented by performing a proper preflight inspection of the airplane using the published procedure in the pilot’s operating handbook.

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

The pilot’s improper preflight inspection, which resulted in a total loss of engine power due to fuel exhaustion.

Full narrative available

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