SEA95LA016
SEA95LA016

On November 7, 1994, approximately 1655 Pacific standard time (PST), a Cessna 172, N1380F, impacted the terrain during a forced landing near Lewiston, Idaho. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant of the aircraft, was not injured, but the airplane sustained substantial damage. The personal pleasure flight, which departed Elko, Nevada, about four and one-half hours earlier, was operating in visual meteorological conditions at the time of the accident. No flight plan had been filed, and there was no report of an ELT activation.

According to the pilot, he was just contacting the tower at Lewiston Airport when he lost power. Because he thought he would not be able to glide to the airport, the pilot made the decision to land on a paved road. During the landing roll, he swerved to the right in order to avoid oncoming traffic, and the aircraft impacted an embankment.

In a telephone conversation with the IIC, the pilot stated that he had originally planned to climb to about 10,000 MSL after takeoff, and remain at that altitude until it was time to begin his descent into Lewiston. But after takeoff, the pilot encountered weather that caused him to maneuver at altitudes between 6,500 and 7,500 feet MSL for about two and one-half hours. He said that this had caused him to burn more fuel than he originally expected, but that he thought he could still make it to Lewiston. He said that when the engine quit, one fuel tank was indicating empty, and the other was just above empty.

When the aircraft was disassembled by the recovery team, less than three gallons of fuel was found in the entire fuel system.

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