On January 31, 1997, at 2202 eastern standard time (est), a Cessna 172N, N4696G, registered to Aerolina, Inc., of Hendersonville, North Carolina, received substantial damage when it landed short of runway 23 at the Fort Wayne Municipal Airport, Fort Wayne, Indiana, following a total loss of engine power. The pilot intended to stop at Fort Wayne, Indiana for fuel. The private pilot and passenger reported no injuries. The personal 14 CFR Part 91 flight was operating in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan was filed. The flight originated from Hendersonville, North Carolina, at 1730 est with the intended destination of Elkhart, Indiana.

According to the pilot's written statement, he said, "...on final approach to FWA [Fort Wayne Municipal Airport] & lost power later discovered out of fuel."

Post accident examination of the airplane by the Federal Aviation Administration Principal Maintenance Inspector (PMI) stated that he removed the spark plugs, and they were clean and dry. Turned propeller through and received a good spark from both magnetos. The PMI drained fuel from the fuel filter at the bottom of the engine compartment and received a total of one and a half gallons of clean blue color fuel.

The Pilot's Operating Handbook states that the total unusable fuel is 3 gallons.

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