On September 9, 1999, at 1945 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 182P, N78092, collided with a fence post during a forced landing in Collegedale, Tennessee. The airplane was operated by the private pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan was filed for the cross-country flight. The airplane sustained substantial damage and the private pilot was not injured. The flight departed Dalton, Georgia, at approximately 1915 enroute to Collegedale Airport.

According to the pilot, he departed Collegedale Airport and flew to Hardwick Airport in Cleveland, Tennessee, and then on to Dalton Airport in Dalton, Georgia. While approaching Collegedale Airport on the return flight, he noticed the fuel level was getting low. The fuel gauges for both the left and right tanks were indicating less than a quarter tank. As he approached the airport, the left fuel gauge indicated the tank was almost empty, while the right fuel gauge still indicated a quarter tank. While preparing for a visual approach to runway 21 at Collegedale, the engine sputtered. He pulled the carburetor heat on and the engine responded by running smoothly for approximately ten seconds and then lost all power. He immediately turned toward runway 21 and attained best glide airspeed. At this time, he was north of runway 21 and observed that he would not be able to reach the runway. He made a forced landing in a field adjacent to the airport and collided with a large fence post.

According to the FAA, examination of the airplane revealed that the right wing fuel cap was missing. The right side of the airplane fuselage extending beyond the rear window and along the side of the tail cone had blue streaks similar in color to 100 octane low lead aviation fuel. Examination of the filler ports and fuel caps disclosed no failures to these components. The fuel cap was found on the runway at the Collegedale Airport. According to the FAA, the airplane had approximately 3 hours of fuel on board at initial departure from Collegedale Airport. The flight duration was approximately 1.1 hours.

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