On September 22, 1996, at 1215 central daylight time, a Cessna 172D, N904SW, sustained substantial damage during a forced landing near Germantown Hill, Illinois. The commercial pilot stated that he knew that the right fuel tank was nearly empty and that the left fuel tank was reading about one-quarter full when the engine lost power. He reported minor injuries. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was on file. The local flight departed Peoria, Illinois, about 1200.

The pilot said that he initiated the flight with eight gallons of fuel on the airplane. He stated that he was making a local flight when the engine lost power. He stated that attempts to restart the engine proved negative. He then initiated a forced landing. According to the pilot, as the airplane turned final he slowed the airplane and was unable to reach the field he had picked out for landing. The airplane then landed in tree tops short of the intended point of landing.

A post accident investigation of the accident airplane found only unusable fuel aboard the airplane. There was no indication of a fuel leak from either tank prior to the impact. The engine rotated with compression and continuity throughout.

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