ATL00LA066
ATL00LA066

On June 24, 2000, at 0815 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172N, N738WD, ditched in the Atlantic Ocean 35 miles east of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, following a loss of engine power. The airplane was operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 and visual flight rules. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed. The pilot, a pilot-rated passenger, and two other passengers were not injured and the airplane sank into about 1,000 feet of water and substantial damage is assumed. The flight originated from the Grand Bahamas Islands at 0720.

According to the pilot, on the day before the accident, the airplane was fueled with 10 gallons of fuel. He stated that this gave the airplane a total of 25 gallons prior to departing the Grand Bahamas. After takeoff, the pilot climbed to a cruise altitude of 6500 feet. Approximately 42 nautical miles off Freeport, he began an initial descent to 4,500 feet, then 3,500 feet. When the pilot applied throttle following the descent, there was no engine response. The engine remained at idle and the pilot ditched the airplane near a commercial boat. All four occupants were rescued without injuries. The airplane was not recovered, and therefore the engine was not examined. Weather conditions were favorable for the formation of carburetor ice, and carburetor heat was not used during the descent.

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