On February 23, 1997, at 2258 central standard time, a Cessna R172K, N98DE, registered to and operated by a private owner, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power near Brownsville, Texas. The instrument rated private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed for the Title 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight. A flight plan was filed for the cross country flight that originated in Arlington, Texas, at 1800.

The pilot reported to the police that he had attempted three approaches into Brownsville airport, and during the fourth attempt, the engine lost power. The airplane landed on a road. During the landing roll, the airplane struck some trees damaging a wing, the tail, and collapsing the nose landing gear.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety Report, when the trooper arrived on the scene, the pilot told him that he was "enroute from Arlington and had encountered some unexpected head winds." The pilot stated to the officer that he had "merely ran out of fuel." The trooper attempted to extract a fuel sample from the fuel tanks of the airplane; however, the "wing tanks contained no fuel." A "bottle containing an estimated fifty pill[s] of 10mg Valium" was found in the airplane.

Several attempts to obtain a completed Pilot/Operator Report, NTSB Form 6120.1/2, were unsuccessful. The pilot also did not return numerous phone calls from the investigator in charge.

Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsis
Return to Query Page