On February 15, 1997, at 1230 central standard time, a Cessna 172, N1419Y, registered to and operated by a private owner, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Rogers, Arkansas. The pilot received minor injuries, one passenger received serious injuries, and the other two passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. A VFR flight plan was filed for the cross country flight that originated in Paxton, Illinois, at approximately 0820.

According to the pilot, he intended to perform a cross country flight from Paxton, Illinois, to Longview, Texas, with a refueling stop at Bentonville, Arkansas. After 4 hours and 5 minutes of flight, the airplane, "ran out of fuel over Rogers, Arkansas, approximately 8 miles from Bentonville." Rogers airport was within gliding distance, but once the airplane got close to the airport, the pilot did not think the airplane would be able to "clear the trees that paralleled the runway to the east so I chose a course to the north where a clearing was." He then "discovered the runway was built up on a hill which I could not distinguish from the air." Rather than risk impacting the crest of the hill, he landed on the side of the hill running "parallel to the horizontal run of the hill." During the landing roll, as the airplane rounded the ridge at the west end of the hill, it impacted a drainage ditch. The engine, firewall, and nose landing gear were damaged.

According to a local law enforcement officer, the pilot told him that he "thought he had 5 hours of fuel but he had only been flying about four and a half hours when he ran out of gas." The officer interviewed the passengers, and they stated that the pilot had told them the airplane was out of fuel, and he was going to try to land it in an open field.

Two FAA personnel went to the site of the accident to take a fuel sample from the airplane. They reported that they were able to drain approximately 1/2 quart of fuel from each fuel tank.

According to the 1962 Cessna 172 owner's manual, the range with full fuel (39 useable gallons), at 7,000 feet and 75% power is 4 hours and 6 minutes, with no reserve.

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