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On August 8, 2000, at 1530 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 172, N3529Q, collided with trees in a swampy area during an attempted forced landing near Manteo, North Carolina. The sightseeing flight was operated by Kitty Hawk Aero Tours under the provisions of Title 14 CFR Part 91 with no flight plan filed. Visual weather conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The airplane was substantially damaged. The commercial pilot and one passenger received minor injuries, and two passengers were not injured. The flight departed Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, at 1520.
Before the flight, the pilot preformed a normal pre-flight inspection of the airplane. The pilot calculated that the airplane had 1.2 hours of fuel onboard before he departed on the first leg of the sightseeing flight. Approximately 25 minutes into the sightseeing flight, the pilot experienced a complete loss of engine power. The pilot selected a location for a forced landing, and made an off-airport landing in a swampy area adjacent to state highway 264.
The on-site examination of the airplane revealed that there was no fuel in the right or left fuel tanks. No mechanical problems with the airplane were reported by the pilot, and no mechanical problems were discovered with the airplane during the on-site examination. The pilot reported that the accident occurred during the second tour on the original fuel load.