On July 4, 1993, at approximately 1715 central daylight time, a Cessna 172P airplane, N54003, was substantially damaged following impact with terrain while attempting a forced landing following the loss of engine power near Lancaster, Texas. The private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, sustained minor injuries. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight.

The pilot stated that he departed for an overnight trip with a fuel load of three fourth tanks. After the two hour flight, he added five gallons of fuel per side and checked the fuel gauges at just below the half full line. Approximately an hour and a half after takeoff on the return flight, the engine lost power while at cruise flight at 3,500 feet. After attempting to restart the engine, the pilot attempted to land downwind on a freshly plowed field.

During the landing roll, the nose wheel collapsed after it dug into the soft dirt, and the airplane nosed over on its back. The distance from the initial point of impact to the resting place of the airplane was measured as 132 feet.

Damage to the airplane included a separated right main landing gear, buckling of the engine firewall, the partial separation of the powerplant, and damage to the vertical stabilizer.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration inspector at the accident site, the left fuel tank was empty, the right tank contained approximately a pint of fuel, and the gascolator contained about a tablespoon of fuel. No evidence of a fuel spill was found at the accident site.

The airplane was verbally released to the operator at the accident site.

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