On September 28, 1996, about 1340 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172K, N84593, was substantially damaged during a forced landing to a golf course near Deal, New Jersey. The private pilot and three passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight that departed the Perkiomen Valley Airport, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, about 1020, destined for Newport News, Virginia (PHF). No flight plan was filed for the flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

During a telephone interview with the pilot, she stated that she flew from PHF to Collegeville, September 27. However, she overflew Collegeville(N10), landed at Blairstown, NJ, had the airplane refueled, and returned to N10. On September 28, the pilot planned a flight from N10 back to PHF, by way of New York City, at an altitude of 6,500 feet. The pilot departed N10 approximately 1040, and arrived over the Hudson River in the vicinity of West Point, New York. She then proceeded south along the Hudson River. About 3 hours into the flight, just south of the New York city area, at 2,000 feet, the engine lost total power and the pilot performed a forced landing to a golf course.

The pilot further stated that during the preflight planning she estimated the ground speed would be 30 knots less than the indicated airspeed, due to a 30 knot wind from the south. Additionally, she stated the fuel consumption charts were not applicable to the upgraded engine of 180 HP, so consequently she added 50% to the calculated fuel consumption. During the flight she used a power setting of approximately 2500 RPM, and stated that there was about 1/8" travel left for full power on the throttle.

In the NTSB form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated that there were no mechanical malfunctions with the airplane and that "this accident could have been prevented by stopping for fuel sooner than planned."

According to the airport owner, on September 27, the day prior to the accident flight, a Flight Service Station (FSS) contacted personnel at N10 reporting N84593 overdue. The FSS later reported to personnel at N10 that the airplane diverted to Blairstown, New Jersey, with low fuel and air traffic control assistance.

A review of the fuel receipt from Blairstown revealed that the airplane received 40.2 gallons of fuel, and a review of the hobbs meter records revealed that the airplane had been flown for a total of 3.6 hours when it had landed at Blairstown. According to hobbs meter records, the flight from Blairstown to N10 was 1.1 hours; a review of the fuel receipt from N10 revealed that the airplane received 15.8 gallons of fuel on September 28, at 1018. The refueler stated that the airplane departed immediately after being refueled, and he reported that the ceiling was 1,800 feet overcast.

According to the Pilot Operating Handbook, the total fuel capacity was 42 gallons, of which, 38 were usable. The original cruise and range performance chart had a disclaimer written across it which stated "revised by STC SA73GA, see flight manual supplement." According to the flight manual supplement, the minimum allowable fuel flow for 100, 90, and 80 percent power respectively were between 14.5 and 15; 13 and 13.5; 11.5 and 12 gallons per hour.

The pilot obtained her private pilot certificate on September 23, 1996, and was checked out in the accident airplane on September 27, 1996. She had an estimated 67 hours of total flight experience.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration Inspector did not reveal evidence of malfunctions with the airplane, including the fuel system. Additionally, the fuel tanks remained intact with approximately 30 ounces of fuel observed in the left tank and no fuel observed in the right tank. According to hobbs meter records, the airplane had been operated for 3.2 hours since the last refueling.

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