On July 3, 1993, at approximately 2150 central daylight time, a Cessna 177B, N18739, sustained substantial damage near Shawnee, Oklahoma, following a forced landing due to a loss of engine power. The private pilot, a pilot rated passenger, and a child were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area for the personal cross country flight.

During interviews, conducted by the Federal Aviation Administration inspector and the investigator in charge, with the pilot and passengers, the following information was revealed. Earlier that day the pilot had flown from Shawnee, Oklahoma, to Grain Valley, Missouri. The pilot requested the fixed base operator to fuel the tanks. Refueling was not observed by the pilot. Upon his return to the airport, the pilot secured a fuel ticket for 20 gallons of fuel. The pilot stated to the investigator in charge that during the preflight, he did not look in the fuel tanks. The flight departed Grain Valley, Missouri, airport. During the straight in approach to runway 17 at Shawnee, Oklahoma, approximately five miles north of the airport, the engine lost total power. The pilot tried to restart the engine; however, he could not hear the engine trying to turn. A forced landing was initiated. During the landing roll, the airplane went through a fence and struck some trees. The airplane came to rest on a heading approximately 180 degrees from the approach heading.

An examination by the inspector indicated flight control continuity. Total en route flight time was three hours and fifteen minutes. The cockpit fuel selector was selected to both tanks. There was no evidence of fuel in the left wing tank and the right wing tank had less than 1/2 gallon of fuel. When the engine fuel strainer cable was pulled, fuel did not drain.

An engine test run was conducted with no anomalies. An examination of the push pull cable, utilized for draining the fuel strainer, revealed that the cable was hard to move. During two out of twenty to thirty movements, the cable did not seat the strainer and fuel seeped from the drain. There was no physical evidence of fuel stains in the area of the drain or adjacent areas of the airframe.

The airplane was released to the owner following the investigation.

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