SEA02LA113
SEA02LA113

On June 25, 2002, approximately 1710 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 177, N29441, collided with a portable restroom during the landing roll, one mile southwest of Skagit Regional Airport, Mt. Vernon, Washington. The aircraft was owned and operated by a private pilot, who was the sole occupant. The pilot was not injured, however, the aircraft received substantial damage. The 14 CFR Part 91 personal pleasure flight, departed Oak Harbor Airport, Oak Harbor, Washington, approximately 10 minutes prior to the accident, and was being operated in visual meteorological conditions. No flight plan had been filed.

According to the pilot, because he knew his aircraft was very low on fuel, he considered refueling before departing Oak Harbor Airport. However, since there was no fuel available at the airport itself, the pilot decided to attempt a measurement of the fuel quantity by using a dip-tube measuring device. After making the measurement, he estimated the remaining fuel to be around four to five gallons. Based upon that estimate, he elected to depart on the 10 minute flight to Skagit Regional. As the aircraft approached the airport on an extended base leg at approximately 1,400 feet above the terrain, the engine suddenly lost power. The pilot therefore activated the electric fuel pump, and the engine restarted and produced power for about another 30 seconds before losing power again. Because there were trees between the aircraft and the runway, the pilot decided to attempt a forced landing on a dirt road in a nearby berry field. The touchdown was uneventful, however, the aircraft's wing collided with a portable outhouse while on the landing roll.

A post-accident inspection of the aircraft revealed that, except for a very small residual amount of fuel, the aircraft's fuel tanks had been run dry.

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