On February 18, 2003, at 1730 central standard time, a Cessna 172K single-engine airplane, N678BC, was substantially damaged during a forced landing following a loss of engine power while landing near Jacksonville, Texas. The non-instrument rated private pilot, sole occupant of the airplane, was not injured. The airplane was owned and operated by the pilot. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed throughout the area for the personal flight. The flight was conducted under 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The 410-nautical mile cross country flight originated at the Atmore Municipal Airport (0R1) near Atmore, Alabama, at 1330 CST, with Jacksonville, Texas, as its intended destination.

According to local authorities, that responded to the accident site, the airplane impacted and came to rest in a grove of trees approximately 1/4 mile short of the landing threshold for runway 14 at the Cherokee County Airport (JSO) near Jacksonville, Texas. The pilot egressed the wreckage unassisted and walked to the airport to report the accident.

The FAA inspector, who traveled to the accident site, reported that the 1969-model Cessna was found in about a 45-degree nose down, left wing low attitude, atop matured trees. The inspector reported that due to the attitude of the wreckage, he was not able to sump either of the fuel cells. He added that he was able to drain some fuel from the gascolator, and that the carburetor heat selector was in the fully closed (cold) position.

The 400-hour pilot reported to the FAA inspector that the engine "began sputtering and running rough while he was on final, until it finally stopped." Examination of the wreckage revealed severe structural damage to the outer portion of both wings, and the empennage was rotated 25-30 degrees. The propeller did not exhibit signs of rotational damage. Post recovery examination of the fuel tanks revealed no fuel in either tank.

The airplane had been airborne for four hours since the time it departed Atmore, Alabama. No refueling stops were made along the route of flight. Numerous attempts to obtain the completed Pilot/Operator Accident Report (NTSB Form 6120.1/2) from the pilot were unsuccessful.

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