FTW99LA014
FTW99LA014

On October 19, 1998, approximately 1510 central daylight time, a Cessna 182Q airplane, N4796N, owned and operated by four private individuals, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following the loss of engine power near Farmerville, Louisiana. The non-instrument rated private pilot sustained minor injuries and his 2 passengers were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the business cross country flight conducted under Title 14 CFR Part 91. The flight originated from Monticello, Arkansas, at 1430, with an intended destination of the Ruston Regional Airport, near Ruston, Louisiana.

The pilot reported to the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC) that he had flown the airplane from Ruston, Louisiana, to Indianapolis, Indiana, to attend a trade conference with two of his employees. The flight took 3.6 hours to travel the 530 nautical mile route (pilot estimated a fuel consumption of 40.9 gallons) .

After attending the conference, the pilot and his passengers arrived at the airport for the return flight. The airplane's 92 gallon fuel system (88 usable) was then topped-off by employees of the Raytheon FBO at the Indianapolis Airport for the return flight to Ruston, Louisiana. The pilot reported paying for 38 gallons of fuel.

While on his return flight to Ruston, the pilot elected to stop at the Monticello Airport, near Monticello, Arkansas, to check the en route and destination weather. The pilot estimated that he had approximately 10 gallons of fuel aboard, so he elected to continue on to his destination without refueling at Monticello.

After takeoff from Monticello, the pilot leveled the airplane at 1,200 feet agl for the 80 nautical mile flight to Ruston. Approximately 40 minutes after takeoff, the engine lost power without warning. The pilot reported that he elected to land the airplane into the prevailing wind "in a short and narrow pasture which was sloping uphill." The pilot stated that the flaps were extended 15 degrees for the forced landing.

The 240 hour pilot stated that "the airplane landed hard" on the up-slopping soft terrain, collapsing the nose landing gear and tearing the right main landing gear assembly from the fuselage. He reported that the landing roll was "minimal."

In the narrative portion of the enclosed NTSB Form 6120.1/2, the pilot stated that "when Raytheon attempted to fuel our airplane they hastily pumped fuel into each tank and only added 14 gallons of fuel." He further states that he suspected that the refueling personnel failed to reset the fuel totalizer after servicing the last airplane with 24 gallons, thus accounting for the 38 gallons they paid for. According to figures provided by the pilot, the airplane had a total of 61.1 gallons of fuel on board, rather than the 92 gallons he requested and anticipated.

The pilot added that the left fuel gauge was not working; however, the right fuel gauge "indicated we had plenty of fuel." Refueling records for the flight were not available.

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