On February 25, 2001, about 0330 Eastern Standard Time, a Cessna 172I, N46115, was substantially damaged during a forced landing in Suffolk, Virginia. The certificated private pilot and passenger were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed for the flight that departed Long Island Mac Arthur Airport (ISP), Islip, New York, about 2340, and was destined for the Hampton Roads Airport (PVG), Portsmouth, Virginia. The personal flight was conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector, the airplane was about 5 miles north-northwest of PVG, and communicating with Norfolk Air Traffic Control, when the pilot reported the airport in site, and cancelled his VFR flight plan. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported the airplane "ran out of gas" and had lost engine power. During a forced landing to a road, the airplane struck a vehicle and stop sign.

In a written statement, the pilot stated he encountered "a little more headwind then was predicated." When the airplane was south of Salisbury, Maryland, the left fuel gauge read "E", and the right fuel gauge read "just about 1/2." The pilot said that he felt enough fuel remained in the airplane to reach PVG.

Examination of the airplane by the FAA inspector revealed that the left and right fuel tanks were "dry."

The pilot obtained his private pilot license in December of 2000, and had accumulated about 100 hours of total flight experience.

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