On May 31, 2002, approximately 1130 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 172M, N496HM, nosed over during an attempted forced landing after a complete loss of engine power on final approach to Anacortes Airport, Anacortes, Washington. The private pilot, who was the sole occupant, received minor injuries, and the aircraft, which is owned and operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The flight departed an unidentified agricultural airstrip northwest of Chelan, Washington, about 90 minutes prior to the accident. The 14 CFR, Part 91 personal pleasure flight was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed. There was no report of an ELT activation.

According to the pilot, on the day prior to the accident he flew the aircraft for about an hour and 40 minutes. At the beginning of that flight, both of the aircraft's fuel tanks were full. On the day of the accident, he departed Anacortes and flew to Omak, Washington. Upon his arrival at Omak, he discovered that the runway was closed for repairs (NOTAM had been issued). He therefore headed back along his original route looking for an airport where he could get fuel. While en route, he spotted an agricultural airstrip, and landed there in hopes of being able to fill the aircraft's tanks. After spending about 15 minutes at the field, and determining that there was no one else present, he took off and flew toward Chelan. As he approached the Chelan area, he tried to locate the Chelan Airport, but was unable to do so. He therefore turned west with the intention of flying back to Anacortes. Although he passed near Arlington Airport after crossing the Cascade Mountains, he elected not to stop there, and attempted to make it to Anacortes without refueling.

While on final approach to Anacortes, the aircraft's engine quit, and the pilot elected to land on the shoreline northwest of the airport. Although the touchdown was uneventful, during the landing roll, the aircraft encountered soft gravel covered terrain and nosed over. After the aircraft was recovered, it was determined that both fuel tanks were empty, and that approximately five hours and 30 minutes had elapsed since the aircraft was last refueled. According to the pilot, the fuel gauges for both tanks were indicating between 1/4 and 1/2 full. The pilot further stated that he failed to keep an accurate tally of the time the aircraft had flown, and the amount of fuel it had consumed, since last being refueled. He also said that when he was evaluating his gas situation before making the decision to fly back to Anacortes, he failed to take into account the flight on the previous day.

According to the FAA, the pilot's license had been revoked in 1996, and had not yet been reinstated.

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