ATL99LA116
ATL99LA116

On August 14, 1999, at 1520 eastern daylight time, a Cessna R172-E, N667GA, struck a cable and collided with a fence during an emergency landing following a loss of engine power in Chiefland, Florida. The airplane was operated by the private pilot under the provision of Title 14 CFR Part 91, and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident with a flight plan filed. The pilot and three passengers received minor injuries, and the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane departed Dobbins AFB, Georgia, at 1230.

According to the pilot, due to the heat of the day, the airplane's normal performance was reduced, and the airplane could only climb to 5500 feet mean sea level (msl). As the flight progressed, the ceiling progressively lowered and he descended to avoid clouds, leveling off at 1500 feet msl. The pilot stated that approximately three minutes north of the Cross City VOR, the fuel gauges indicated low fuel in the right tank and half fuel in the left tank. The airplane had been in flight for two hours and 50 minutes, and the pilot believed he had a half tank of fuel and that the right tank fuel gauge was defective.

Ten minutes south of the Cross City VOR the pilot stated that he lost manifold pressure, and the fuel gauges for the right tank indicated empty while the left tank indicated half fuel. However, he said the fuel pressure was still in operating range and the RPM was at 2400. The pilot said that he went through the engine restart emergency procedures that included, applying full throttle, and full rich mixture. He pulled carburetor heat and noted that the carburetor heat cable came loose from the control panel. The pilot elected to make a forced landing on a rural road. During the approach, at about 25 feet above the ground the vertical stabilizer struck an electrical service drop line which crossed the roadway from West to East. The impact partially separated the vertical stabilizer. The airplane touched down and departed the road, striking a barbed wire fence with the nose wheel. The airplane nosed over and came to a rest inverted substantially damaging the airplane.

Examination of the wreckage by the FAA found a small quantity of fuel in the right fuel tank and no fuel in the left fuel tank. There was no fuel found in the gascolator, and only a small amount of fuel was found in the fuel line coming from the gascolator. There was also no evidence of a fuel leakage around the accident site. Further examination revealed that the fuel line from the firewall to the input side of the gascolator was cracked.

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