On October 4, 1997, about 1625 eastern daylight time, a Cessna P172D, N8582X, registered to a private individual, collided with a fence then the ground during a forced landing shortly after takeoff from the Umatilla Municipal Airport, Umatilla, Florida. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time and no flight plan was filed for the 14 CFR 91 personal flight. The airplane was substantially damaged and the private-rated pilot sustained minor injuries. The nonrated passenger was not injured. The flight originated from the airport about 1 minute earlier.

The pilot stated that the fuel selector was positioned to the right tank position by mistake and according to the passenger, the right and left fuel tank gauges indicated empty and 3/4 full before takeoff. The flight departed and while simultaneously climbing and banking to the right, the engine quit suddenly. He pumped the throttle and the engine sputtered momentarily but quit. He maneuvered for a forced landing in a field and while descending, the nose landing gear collided with a 4-foot-tall fence. The airplane then nosed over and impacted the ground inverted. Both occupants unlatched their seatbelts and exited the airplane.

Examination of the airplane by an FAA inspector revealed that the fuel selector was in the "right" tank detent. While inverted fuel was noted to be dripping out of the left wing fuel tank vent. The airplane was returned to an upright position and the left fuel tank was drained and found to contain 12 gallons with an estimated 1.0 gallon remaining in the tank. The right fuel tank was drained and found to contain 3.5 gallons also with an estimated 1.0 gallon remaining in the tank. According to the airplane type certificate data sheet the unusable fuel capacity for each fuel tank is 5.25 gallons.

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