CHI02LA167
CHI02LA167

On June 16, 2002, at 2051 central daylight time, a Cessna 172G, N5953R, piloted by a private pilot, was substantially damaged when it nosed over during a forced near Butler, Missouri. The airplane experienced a total loss of engine power during cruise. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal flight was operating on a visual flight rules flight plan. The pilot was not injured and the passenger received minor injuries. The flight originated from the Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP), Rapid City, South Dakota, at 1400 mountain daylight time (MDT), and was en route to the Springfield-Branson Regional Airport (SGF), Springfield, Missouri.

The pilot stated that he refueled at RAP, visually checked that the airplane's fuel tanks were full, and departed with a planned re-fueling stop near Lincoln, Nebraska. While en route at 9,500 feet mean sea level, the flight diverted around thunderstorms over Nebraska and then encountered a 25 knot tailwind which the pilot decided to take advantage of to continue without stopping to Missouri.

The pilot stated in a written statement, "...with one hour left to destination with fuel gauges showing 1/4 fuel remaining in each of two fuel tanks, I decided to cancel flight following with Kansas City Center and divert to Butler Memorial (KBUM) for fuel stop. Set A/C in 200 [foot per minute] decent to KBUM, leveled out at 3,500 msl at approx. 5 miles from KBUM on an extended left base for runway 35, when sustained a total engine failure. I immediately switched from both fuel tanks to left tank, full mixture, pumped throttle and obtained engine re-start momentarily and loss engine again. I switched to right fuel tank tried engine re-start and was unable to. I set the A/C for best extended glide (still approx. 3 miles from KBUM) at altitude of 1,500 msl, unable to make KBUM. I committed a landing in a hay field (with high grass). At approx. 20 feet above field, speed reducing below 45 mph lost lift and with full yoke back touched down hard in high grass and struck a water pond with nose gear flipping A/C tail over coming to rest on N/E side edge of pond, up-side down."

The field was approximately 1,000 feet long and down sloped toward the center where there was a stock pond about 15 feet across.

Inspection of the airplane's fuel system by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed that there was no fuel in the fuel tanks. The pilot stated to the FAA inspector that he departed approximately 1400 MDT from RAP.

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